The intercounty retirements of Brian Hogan, Henry Shefflin and Tommy Walsh are a huge loss, not just to Kilkenny, but hurling at large. Photograph: James Crosbie/Inpho.

At last hurling championship time is with us. In the closed season (Yes, I know, what closed season?) we’ve been kept mildly entertained by the usual (...)

Waterford’s Austin Gleeson, Martin O’Neill and Pauric Mahony celebrate with the trophy. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Follow that. Waterford began winning on a dark February evening when the hurling world wasn’t paying much notice and this morning, they finish the lea(...)

Henry Shefflin: nothing was left undone, no question left dangling

Late last Wednesday week, Andy’s Bar, Main Street of Ballyhale. The club’s sixth All-Ireland title, won the day before, is being celebrated. Wisps (...)

Clare players go through a warm up drill before the game against Cork. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Cork v Clare in Pairc Ui Rinn, a quick rasher sandwich, then off to Dunedin for Sri Lanka v Afghanistan. Where would you be going? And if it wasn’t fo(...)

Tipperary’s Eoin Kelly has announced his retirement from the inter-county game. Photograph:  Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Even for a player like Eoin Kelly the decision to retire at age 32 probably doesn’t come as a major surprise, although it does bring the curtain down (...)

Tipperary manager Eamon O’Shea, who received the backing from his players following the All-Ireland defeat by Kilkenny, urges his side forward. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

There is mounting concern in Tipperary hurling that manager Eamon O’Shea may no longer be able to commit to the post. In the aftermath of Saturday’s A(...)

Jim O’Brien at work in his Tipperary workshop on hurleys that will be used by some of the Tipperary players in the All-Ireland final. Photo: Bryan O’Brien 4:53

“Have you got those two 35s?”Mark Dowling is almost furtive in the way he asks his father Brian to pass out the two freshly-fashioned hurleys that are(...)

Tipperary’s  John O’Dwyer claims the sliotar ahead of Dublin players  Shane Durkin, Liam Rushe and Michael Carton during the All-Ireland SHC quarter-final at Semple Stadium in Thurles. Photograph:  Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Tipperary 2-23 Dublin 0-16The continuation of inevitability. Despite some remarkable revivals and the supposed levelling of hurling’s playing field in(...)

Tipperary’s Séamus Callanan celebrates on of his two goals in the All-Ireland SHC Round two Qualifiers at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise.  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Not for the first time, Tipperary’s desire to gauge where they are is complicated by sticky issue of who they are. Still hurling’s little girl with th(...)

Limerick’s Séamus Hickey in action against Cork during last year’s Munster final at the Gaelic Grounds. “I was just absolutely thrilled to get a jersey the last day. It’s a very difficult thing to do in the group of players we have at the moment, to actually have a 1 to 15.” Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Séamus Hickey hadn’t yet rounded the corner towards his 19th birthday the day Limerick decided to make a man of him. It was May 2006 and they were in (...)