Armagh and Tyrone players confront each other early on in last weekend’s qualifier clash at Omagh. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Presseye/Inpho

The authorities must condemn them. Managers can’t condone them. The media has to tut-tut away and decide that they’re the worst thing to happen since (...)

Tyrone’s Seán Cavanagh finds his way blacked by Armagh’s  Stephen Harold during the  All-Ireland SFC  Round 2B Qualifier at Healy Park in Omagh. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Inpho/Presseye

Tyrone 0-10 Armagh 0-13 Tyrone have kissed goodbye to the 2014 football championship, dumped out on their own turf by an Armagh team clearly more inte(...)

Tyrone’s PJ Quinn tackles Louth’s Ryan Burns during Saturday’s All-Ireland senior football championship qualifier at  Healy Park, Omagh, Co Tyrone. Photograph: Inpho

Tyrone 2-21 Louth 0-10 In the end, Tyrone ran away with a tie that was finely balanced at the halfway stage. Louth trailed by just two points at half(...)

Tyrone’s Seán Cavanagh: “From our point of view, we really need to get our own house in order.” Photograph: Inpho

Seán Cavanagh hardly needed any reminder of Tyrone’s football qualifier record against Louth. When they first met, in 2006, Tyrone were defending All(...)

The presumed absence of Conor McManus (above) has a part to play, obviously. Though he looks certain to appear at some stage, Monaghan are plainly a reduced force without him.  Photograph: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

There is a definite sense of now or never for Monaghan here. The mental block certain counties have when it comes to certain other counties is irratio(...)

The Portugal squad train in   Obidos, Portugal. Photograph: Paulo Cunha / EPA

Manager: Paulo Bento Best finish: Third (1966) World Cup record: Played 26, Won 13, Drawn 4, Lost 9 History Surprisingly enough, th(...)

Tyrone goalkeeper Niall Morgan takes to the line after receiving a black card in last week’s drawn Ulster senior football Championship preliminary round game against Down at Healy Park. Photograph: Inpho.Omagh, Tyrone 18/5/2014Tyrone vs DownTyrone’s Niall MorganMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Presseye/Russell Pritchard

Both teams would have been disappointed with last week’s outcome. Down manager James McCartan understandably said that he’d have taken a draw at ha(...)

Like the joke about the depressive economist, who forecast 10 of the last three recessions, apostles of black card Armageddon got yet another glimpse (...)

Down’s Aidan Carr scores a penalty past Tyrone goalkeeper Michael O’Neill. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

If, as we assume, the Ulster Championship is the whole kit and caboodle when it comes to what the football summer has to offer this side of July, it’s(...)

Séamust “Banty” McEnaney

So on we go, headlong into a black card world. Which is pretty remarkable, when you stop to consider it for a moment. A game that stood largely untink(...)