As in life this schoolyard game was kind of dominated by the strong but mistakes were rarely if ever commented on. Photograph: Inpho

Playing at the top level is a different ball game but for kids, participation and fun are what count

Limerick players celebrate in the dressing room with manager John Allen after their championship success at Gaelic Grounds in Limerick last year where Cork were beaten. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Cork have an edge in three championship games played but Limerick have a winning momentum

Kilkenny  manager Brian Cody speaks to Tommy Walsh before introducing him  as a second-half substitute during the Leinster GAA Hurling Senior Championship semi-final against Galway.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

These players are skilled exponents in the finer points of a code bordering on an art form

Galway’s Joe Canning scores a late penalty during last Sunday’s exciting Leinster senior hurling semi-final against Kilkenny at O’Connor Park. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

We can continue to expect the unexpected in the game that keeps on giving

Mark Ellis held the centre of defence for Cork in their Munster semi-final defeat of Clare at  Semple Stadium. Photograph Inpho.

Even though none of the contenders are out of contention yet, there have been a few surprises

Training time for the Limerick hurlers at the Gaelic Grounds. Críonna Tobin’s fascinarting presentation to the  GAA’s Games Development Conference at Croke Park appeared to prove that high intensity training produces better core fitness results than the more traditional endurance running. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Críonna Tobin’s fascinating research proves old ‘laps of the field’ approach limited

In the Munster Hurling Final of June 2004 Waterford’s John Mullane is restrained by Cork’s Seán Óg Ó’hAilpín after striking Brian Murphy. Photograph:Patrick Bolger/Inpho

Over the years this fixture has thrilled and disappointed in equal measure

Shane Dowling celebrates a late point against Tipperary in last year’s Munster semi-final at the Gaelic Grounds.

My former team are an honourable, hardworking, keen, decent group of talented hurlers

The Emeralds GAA club ground, Páirc Smáirgaid, in Ruislip, London.

2014 hurling championship started last month, well before the television broadcasters began their salvos

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