Monaghan’s Dick Clerkin and Tyrone’s Seán Cavanagh compete for a high ball during last Sunday’s Ulster SFC quarter-final at Clones. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

The football championship this past weekend offered starkly contrasting stories; Monaghan’s controlled joy in Clones and Carlow’s 28-point humiliation(...)

Meath’s Michael Newman rounds goalkeeper Pat Coady of Carlow to score his side’s sixth goal in the Leinster quarter-final at Dr Cullen Park. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Meath 7-13 Carlow 0-6Not so long ago Anthony Rainbow discovered that Brendan Murphy, by some distance Carlow’s best footballer, so good he was recruit(...)

Carlow’s Darragh Foley claims the high ball ahead of and meath’s Shane O’Rourke during the Leinster SFC quarter-final clash  at  Dr Cullen Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Carlow 0-6 Meath 7-13 A horror show for Carlow on their own patch. So low were confidence levels by the finish that a streaker was allowed run the len(...)

While Carlow coach Anthony Rainbow knows they have a tough Leinster SFC quarter-final against Meath, he notes: “a lot of people are writing us off already but we’ll put up a fight.” Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Fact: the most destructive sportsman living on this island is a Junior B Carlow footballer. Only problem is Anthony Rainbow can’t pick him for Sunday’(...)

Seán O’Brien: very optimistic about Ireland’s future under Joe Schmidt. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Seán O’Brien’s simple rationale as to why Ireland will win the Six Nations championship in Paris this Saturday is compelling and beli(...)

Carlow 2-7 Longford 1-19Longford made short work of Carlow during a blistering first-half display at Dr Cullen Park yesterday.Jack Sheedy’s side domin(...)

It’s not dubbed the managerial merry-go-round for nothing: Kieran McGeeney is leaving Kildare and returning to his native county Armagh. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

So it’s not dubbed the managerial merry-go-round for nothing: on the same night Jason Ryan went before the Kildare county board to be ratified as thei(...)

Laois’s Padraig Clancy will attempt to fill a huge void in midfield in the absence of Brendan Quigley. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

GAVIN CUMMISKEYThe luck of the draw means either Carlow or Laois will stay afloat for a while yet. On the evidence of both counties opening round coll(...)

 Dessie Dolan, seen here  with manager Pat Flanagan, is now back to full fitness for Westmeath. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

One thing guaranteed that every county manager will tell you about the championship is the importance of not looking beyond your first game, a(...)