Mayo’s Seamus O’Shea and Alan Campbell of Tipperary. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Liam Kearns’s men must find stride quickly with westerners unlikely to be complacent

Kevin McLaughlin has been allocated the role of sweeper by Mayo manager Stephen Rochford. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

County’s former trainer Cian O’Neill believes the perennial nearly men now have a cutting edge to them

Dublin’s Eoghan O’Gara is free to play the All-Ireland semis against Kerry after the red card he picked up during the quarter-final win over Donegal was rescinded. Photograph: Inpho

Forward has red card cleared after he was sent off during All-Ireland win over Donegal

GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail with GAA Museum Hall of Fame inductees, from left, Galway hurler John Connolly, Wexford hurler Tony Doran and Kerry footballer John O’Keeffe. Dermot Earley junior represented his late father and   Roscommon footballer Dermot. Photograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

John Connolly, Tony Doran, Dermot Earley and John O’Keeffe bring group up to 42

Waterford’s Austin Gleeson in action at Thurles. It was noticeable on Saturday how much more comfortably Semple Stadium can stage big games with smaller attendances.  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Using provincial venues and playing big games on Saturday nights worth a try

Tipperary’s John McGrath celebrates scoring his  goal. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Tipp set up another showdown with Kilkenny as Galway rue Joe Canning injury

Kilkenny’s Colin Fennelly scores his first goal during the All-Ireland SHC semi-final replay against Waterford at Semple Stadium. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Colin Fennelly grabs two goals for champions as they book final spot

GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final, Semple Stadium, Tipperary 24/7/2016Clare vs GalwayJoe Canning of Galway scores a goalMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Munster champions know the potent threat Galway pose and can avenge last year’s defeat

Kilkenny’s Walter Walsh attempts to win possession from  Pauric Mahony of Waterford during last week’s match at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Kilkenny haven't shown any evidence this season that their time is up and they can improve sufficiently to reach another final

Galway manager Micheál Donoghue has words with Clare boss Davy Fitzgerald during the All-Ireland quarter-final at Thurles.  Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Galway manager was a mentor alongside former Tipperary boss Eamon O’Shea last year

Brian Cody: keeps Eoin Larkin among the substitutes for Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final replay against Waterford. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Brian Cody keeps faith with the same starting XV that were held to draw by Waterford

Kilkenny’s Richie Hogan tussles with  Barry Coughlan of Waterford. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Brian Cody’s side never accept outcome of a bad day has inevitably to be defeat

Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly is sent off as 13-man Dublin beat Donegal. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Superior scoring threat and a diligent defence ensures victory for Jim Gavin’s men

Kilkenny’s TJ Reid scores his side’s goal against Waterford during last year’s All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Since 1999 Cats have scored twice as many as their various semi-final opponents

Dublin’s Cian O’Sullivan with Donegal’s Neil Gallagher  during the 2014 All-Ireland semi-final. The teams meet again this evening  at a sold-out Croke Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Champions need to step it up to erase bad memories against battle-hardened Donegal

Richie Hogan: likely to prove a thorn in the side for Waterford again in the All-Ireland hurling semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Alan Betson

Munster final collapse ensures too many doubts surround Waterford’s real worth

GAA director general Páraic Duffy at the media briefing to announce proposals for change to the football championship format. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

But experience suggests there is no guarantee GAA’s Annual Congress will agree

Tipperary’s Philip Austin and Kevin O’Halloran celebrate their side’s victory over Galway. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Season picking up after Tipperary ambush and full house in Croke Park due on Saturday

Conor Sweeney scores  Tipperary’s third goal in the  All-Ireland SFC quarter-final win over Galway at Croke Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Liam Kearns’s free-scoring side full value as they make first football semi-final since 1935

Clare’s David Tubridy in action against Sligo. He has posed a threat in attack along with Eoin Cleary. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Banner County in bonus territory but Croke Park far more the Kingdom’s domain

 Damien Comer  in action against Roscommon. He has proviced a useful fulcrum for Galway’s attack so far this summer.  Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Tipperary have done well to refashion their challenge but Tribesmen hold more aces

Diarmuid O’Connor: has been in outstanding form for Mayo this season – both at senior and U-21 level. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Westmeath’s massed defence could pose some problems for Stephen Rochford’s side

Tyrone’s Niall Sludden and Ronan McNabb tackle Donegal’s Michael Murphy: Murphy has ability to inflict damage on  Cork’s inside line on Saturday. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Fragile Cork has struggled to complete threatening counter-attacks so far this year

Thousands of empty seats  at the Leinster football final between Dublin and Westmeath which attracted a crowd of less than 40,000 to Croke Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Lack of competitiveness within Leinster inevitably affecting interest in both codes

Clare’s David Turbidy celebrates scoring the first goal of the game in their clash with Roscommon. Photo: Inpho

Former Mayo manager is impressed by progress of underdog counties so far

GAA and Gaelic Players Association announce their  new agreement in Croke Park. Pictured are GPA CEO Dessie Farrell, GPA chairman Seamus Hickey, GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghaíl and GAA director general Paraic Duffy. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Increased professionalism is creating a world where competitiveness is dying

Galway’s Joe Canning with fans at the end of the game in Thurles. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Westerners shut the door on Clare’s hopes of revisiting 2013 in Thurles quarter-final

Liam Hodgins of Galway and Jamsie O’Connor of Clare tussle during the All-Ireland quarter-final in 2002. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

Before changes to modern structures the sides rarely ever went head-to-head in the championship

Waterford manager Derek McGrath bows his head in dejection  near the end of his side’s Munster senior hurling final hammering by Tipperary in Limerick two weeks ago.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Déise hurling boss will be hoping to emulate recovery strategies of his predecessors

Wexford’s  Lee Chin  who scored four points in his side’s clash with Cork two weeks ago. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Déise must put Munster hurling final blow-out behind them to see off surging neighbours

Clare’s Podge Collins (centre) is also down to play football on Saturday. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

With both sides not showing true potential it comes down to who has improved most

 Roscommon’s Cathal Cregg and Ciaran Murtagh dejected after the Connacht final defeat. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Clare’s strength is midfield, an area where Roscommon have struggled badly this year

Derry’s Mark Lynch will need to deliver a big performance on Saturday. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho

Mark Lynch is the key man for the Ulster county but Tipperary will punish a slow start

Tyrone celebrate their Ulster final win and a first provincial title in six years. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Inpho/Presseye

Counties bucked trend by winning provincial honours after a spring spent in Division Two

Galway’s manager Kevin Walsh before the Connacht  senior football championship final replay against Roscommon at  McHale Park, Mayo. Photograph: Inpho

Galway manager reacts to criticism in wake of last week’s draw while Roscommon joint-manager Kevin McStay accepted that it had bee(...)

Champions!  Galway’s Eoghan Kerin celebrates with his team mates after the game. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Roscommon put up little resistance against stronger, sharper Galway in Castlebar

Seán Cavanagh: the last remaing link with the  Tyrone team that won a historic first All-Ireland in 2003. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Inpho/Presseye

But new-look team must face down bogey side Donegal to claim a first Ulster title in six years

Neil McGee: returns from suspension to bolster Donegal’s defence in the Ulster final.  Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho/Presseye

Mickey Harte’s team is on the upswing and can overcome their toughest rivals

Full forward John Heslin is one of Westmeath’s dangermen, if he can get the service required. Photograph: James Crosbie/Inpho.

Hard to envisage anything other than a record equalling feat for Jim Gavin’s side

Niall Daly put in an influential performance for Roscommon in the drawn game against Galway. Photograph: Donall FarmerInpho.

Kevin Walsh’s side have more room for improvement and cut to their attack

It’s easy to understand why Waterford didn’t want to play the Munster final in Thurles. But it didn’t work out for them at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick either. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Championship marked its mid-point in sombre mood after a downbeat weekend

Tipperary celebrate with the trophy after beating Waterford at the Gaelic Grounds. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

John McGrath hits 3-2 for impressive holders as Waterford suffer complete systems failure

Mayo’s Kevin Keane tackled by Galway’s Shane Walsh in the Connacht football championship semi-final. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Roscommon are missing Neil Collins from full-back line and they may end up regretting it

Dan Morrissey of Limerick gets away from Clare’s Darach Honan at the Gaelic Grounds. Photograph: Cathal Nooan/Inpho

Hurling qualifer opponents have much to thank school for vibrant cross-border rivalry

Wexford will need to contain an in-form Alan Cadogan. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Alan Cadogan will be the go-to man for Cork against an improving, inconcistent Wexford

The injured Conor McGrath could prove a decisive loss for Clare. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Clare should prove too good for the stuttering Treaty County at Semple Stadium

The biggest officiating fiasco in modern times was the “goal” scored by Meath’s Joe Sheridan to defeat Louth in the Leinster final six years ago. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Controversy over goal in Wexford-Offaly game again highlights challenge for officials

Donegal’s Martin McElhinney gets ahead of Owen Duffy of Monaghan during the Ulster SFC semi-final replay at Breffni Park on Saturday. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Inpho.

Donegal midfielder says atmosphere will be better in Clones for final

Former All Star lined out at centre back and got up field for three points in win over Laois

Clare will take on Limerick in their round 2 qualifier in Thurles on Saturday. Photo: Inpho

There will be seven football matches and two hurling matches on Saturday with the Munster final on Sunday

Clare took on Limerick in a classic encounter back in 1996. Photo: Inpho

Cork will play Wexford and Clare will take on Limerick in clashes laden with history

Kilkenny’s Lester Ryan lifts the Bob O’Keefe trophy. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Richie Hogan sprung from the bench to head second half revival as Cats win Leinster title

Damien Hayes and his team-mates celebrate with the trophy after Galway won the Leinster hurling championship in 2012. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Hurling’s lonely status in west has never been properly remedied by GAA

 Galway’s manager Michael Donoghue shakes hands with Kilkenny boss  Brian Cody after the league encounter in March. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Seán Moran and Malachy Clerkin run the rule over a busy weekend of action

 Liam Kearns celebrates after Tipperary’s win over Cork in the Munster football championship semi-finals. Photograph: Inpho

The provincial championships continue to provide opportunities for others to dream

The great Waterford hurler passed away at the weekend at the age of 86

Dublin’s Bernard Brogan catches a ball over the head of Meath’s Mickey Burke. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Royal County enjoy lively first half but never threaten the champions in 10-point loss

Conor McManus and his team-mates celebrate the Ulster final victory over Donegal last year. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Painstaking husbandry ensures the small county remain at football’s top table

Odhrán Mac Niallais had an impact against Fermanagh but he struggled for impact against Monaghan last year. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

A mouthwatering Ulster semi-final and a Leinster football semi-final double-header top the bill

Laois’s Evin Keane celebrates scoring the last point of the game against Armagh– but now  the teams must do it all again. Photo: Tom Beary/Inpho

GAA needs to optimise and streamline the administration of fixtures under its control

Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea: “I’ve never lost to Galway in a competitive game, minor, under-21, senior, so yeah, definitely a change and definitely didn’t see it coming.” Photograph: Inpho.

All Star says team can recover fluidity after surprise loss to Galway on Saturday

Laois brought on a seventh replacement in injury time during their qualifier victory over Armagh. Sanctions for playing too many substitutes range from forfeiture to a replay to a fine. Photograph: Tom Beary/Inpho.

Croke Park CCCC considering claim that county used too many subs in qualifier

Tipperary manager Michael Ryan celebrates at the final whistle in Thurles. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Conceding three goals in the first half makes it very hard to win games, says Limerick manager

Séamus Callanan celebrates scoring Tipperary’s  third goal in the Munster SHC semi-final against Limerick at Semple Stadium in Thurles. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Munster champions forced to battle hard after John O’Dwyer’s early sending off

d Johnny Duane fail to prevent a Donegal goal during the counties’ qualifier clash in Croke Park last summer.  photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

County’s success at underage level not being built on with Mayo dominating in Connacht

Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor: has had little football since returning towards the end of the league. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Visit to Castlebar looks a daunting task for a Galway side including five debutants

Cork players, led by Paul Kerrigan,  take to the field in Semple Stadium, Thurles. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Tipperary delight in their very own D-Day, while mood in Rebel County is one of apathy

Donegal manager Rory Gallagher. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Football action across all four provinces with six games down for decision

The Dublin senior hurling team ahead of their Leinster championship quarter-final defeat of Wexford at Croke Park last month. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Against all odds and expectation the county have emerged as real contenders

The decline of  Down is just one factor in the lack of competitiveness in Ulster football. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Presseye/Inpho

Major soccer tournaments come and go but more fundamental problem is a concern

Waterford manager Derek McGrath celebrates winning with Jamie Barron. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

The Déise beat Clare in semi-final clash in Thurles to avenge league final defeat

Clare’s Podge Collins  tackles Waterford’s Shane Bennett during the league final replay. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Banner’s ability to survive under pressure gives them the edge against Waterford

Bernard Brogan is part of a core of Dublin players that have backboned the county’s Leinster dominance. Photograph:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

All-Ireland football champions Dublin return to action in Kilkenny

GPA CEO Dessie Farrell: “In this day and age it’s not acceptable that players go months and months without being reimbursed.” Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan

Players’ body CEO Dessie Farrell concerned at recent recurrence of a formerly thorny issue

Kevin McManamon: lines out at corner forward against Laois in place of Paul Mannion. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Jim Gavin names 11 of side that started All-Ireland final win against Kerry

Bundee Aki lifts the Pro12 trophy as the Connacht players celebrate their win over Leinster. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Province’s great achievement unlikely to find counterpart in modern-day football or hurling

James McCarthy holds off Kerry’s Kieran Donaghy: “We have got better as we’ve gone on and we’re a tough team to play against now.” Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Versatile defender looking forward to taking on Laois at Nowlan Park

Terry Hyland was a selector for Val Andrews during the Dubliner’s first stint with the county. Photograph: Inpho

Val Andrews praises former selector’s success in bringing through emerging talent

Westmeath manager Michael Ryan: “We’ll embrace the challenge and take it on. It’s why we’re all involved in sport.”

Recent U-21 win over Kilkenny provides an ideal fillip for Michael Ryan’s senior team

Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney: took personal responsibility for the performance when his side lost by 17 points against Cavan in March. Photograph: Inpho

Weekend GAA previews: Mayo too stronger for London despite injury problems

Séamus Callanan in action against Cork:  “It spoils open hurling but sure  whatever it takes teams to win, let them do it.”  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Decorated forward says he hopes Tipperary never adopt hurling’s controversial tactic

Joe McDonagh: his death leaves the GAA bereft of the ease and good humour through which he communicated his passions for Irish  language and   culture. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The charismatic former president will be remembered as a decent and humane man

Galway hurler David Collins: “We wanted change and we got change. Now we have to fulfil our side and do it.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

David Collins knows stakes are higher as Tribesmen have also just been relegated

Tipperary’s John O’Dwyer scores a point as the rain buckets down at Semple Stadium. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Hawk-eye debuts in Semple Stadium but no big calls needed in one sided Munster clash

Former GAA President Joe McDonagh has sadly passed away.  Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Sean Moran remembers the former Galway hurler who became president of the GAA

Longford manager Denis Connerton is not optimistic for his side’s chances ahead of clash with Offaly. Photograph: Inpho

Leinster SFC first round: Offaly v Longford, Tullamore, 3.30

Fermanagh manager Pete McGrath. Photograph: John McVitty/Inpho/Presseye/

Ulster sides meet in championshop for third season in row with one victory apiece

Louth’s Jim McEneaney impressed in the  Division Four final at Croke Park against Antrim. Photograph: Inpho

Saturday: Leinster SFC preliminary round – Carlow v Louth, Portlaoise, 5.0

Laois’ Ross Munnelly: with Donie Kingston and rising star Evan O’Carroll up front, Laois have too much for the visitors. Photograph: Inpho

Saturday: Leinster SFC preliminary round – Laois v Wicklow, Portlaoise, 7.0

Carlow manager Luke Dempsey celebrates with goalscorer JJ Smith after the county’s draw with Meath in the 2012 Leinster championship. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Former manager Luke Dempsey says club game takes precedence in the county

The last time Dublin played a championship match outside Croke Park – against Longford at Pearse Park on June 4th, 2006. A youthful Alan Brogan takes on Dermot Brady. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

How can Leitrim with a population of 32,000 hope to compete with likes of Dublin?

Former GAA President Jack Boothman has passed away. Photo: Inpho

Wicklow man’s term of office was during an interesting time for the organisation

Waterford’s Austin Gleeson scores a point during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 final replay at Semple Stadium. Photograph: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Spotlight moves to the Munster semi-final against Clare on the June bank holiday weekend

Waterford’s Patrick Curran fires past Clare goalkeeper Patrick Kelly to score the opening goal of the league final replay. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Patrick Kelly says failure to win league is the one regret that 1990s’ team still have

Clare’s Shane Golden and Waterford’s Tom Devine challenge for the sliotar during the Allianz Hurling League Division One Final replay at Semple Stadium in Thurles. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Holders left stunned by a Banner comeback sealed deep in injury-time

Waterford’s Maurice Shanahan scores the equalising point with the last puck of the game at Semple Stadium last week. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Holders are unlikely to squander so many chances from frees second time around

Waterford’s Ken McGrath gets away from Cork’s Seán Óg Ó hAilpín during the 1998 National Hurling League final which Cork won. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

History shows both Waterford and Clare benefited even from defeat in a final

Eirgrid GAA Football All Ireland Under 21 Championship Final, Cusack Park, Ennis, Co. Clare 30/4/2016Cork vs MayoDiarmuid O'Connor of Mayo celebrates scoring his sides first goalMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

County’s Under-21 triumph has been a timely boost for the senior panel’s confidence levels

League finalists Clare and Waterford are both coming teams. Their underage success in recent years denotes as much. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

The league finalists are on an upward curve and could be serious Championship contenders

Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald trades some strong words with Derek McGrath of Waterford during the Allianz Hurling League final at Semple Stadium. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Neither side could rack up a decent lead over 90 minutes of fiercely contested action

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