Seadna Morey will be hoping to guide Sixmilebridge to another Clare title. Photo: Inpho

Malachy Clerkin takes a look at the 15 finals down for decision across four provinces

Maybe Mr Crossword was waiting to be called for chemo, maybe he was waiting while Mrs Crossword was getting her line put in. Whatever their reality, it was once our reality

It didn’t cross my mind we’d be near that ward, or that it would be uncomfortable for Mam

The Louth county final will take place in the 7,000 capacity Drogheda Park.

The Louth county final brings together teams from two of the biggest towns in Ireland

GAA director general Páraic Duffy: huge changes are in train from 2018 onwards to make more room for club activity. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Monaghan teacher will go in March after holding almost every role in association

 Anthony Cunningham and Dublin County Board chief John Costello. Cunningham’s name has been mentioned heavily in connection with the Dublin hurling team. Photograph:  Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Costello and Gilroy have been close since latter’s time as football manager ended

Castleknock’s Graham Hannigan and Paul Mannion of Kilmacud Crokes during their recent quarter-final clash. Photograph:  Inpho/Bryan Keane

Moving the All-Ireland finals out of September isn’t automatically helpful for clubs

Shane Duffy challenges Wales’ Ashley Williams during Ireland’s 1-0 win in Cardiff. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

Malachy Clerkin scores Martin O’Neill’s men after they secure playoff with win in Cardiff

Dublin senior football manager Jim Gavin addressing the  HPX conference at the  Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena, Abbotstown, Dublin. Picture: Diarmuid Greene

Dublin boss outlines his coaching philosophy at HPX High Performance Conference

Brendan Maher’s Borris-Ileigh take on Thurles Sarsfields in Sunday’s Tipperary SHC title clash. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Tipperary hurling final between Thurles Sarsfields and Borris-Ileigh is the pick

Ireland’s Daryl Murphy celebrates his first goal with team-mates during the World Cup qualifier against Moldova. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Player reaction: Two-goal hero knew he had to produce after being handed chance

Ireland’s Daryl Murphy scores his  second goal.  Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Two first-half goals from Daryl Murphy see Ireland past group whipping boys

Kerry celebrate with the Allianz Football League Division One trophy this year. Will success in next year’s league be worth anything for them? Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Why would any serious team go eyeballs-out for a league campaign early in 2018 season?

Seamus Power of Ireland hits his drive on the second hole at the Tour Championship held at Atlantic Beach Country Club in Florida. Photo: Michael Cohen/Getty Images

A nightmare finish for American Matt Harmon saw the Waterford golfer squeeze in

Scott Baldwin took things a little too far at  a wildlife centre when he began to pet a lion “like a kitten”. Photograph: Kevin Barnes/Inpho

Ospreys hooker will be looking to get back into Steve Tandy’s good books after his stupidity

“It’s not about the GAA driving an agenda or the IFA driving an agenda. It’s about children learning activities that they can keep for life.” Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Presseye/Inpho

The killing-off of an acclaimed scheme that put GAA and IFA coaches in schools is shameful

Grace Kelly of Mayo is tracked by Carla Rowe of Dublin. Photograph: Sportsfile

Late goal rush secures emphatic victory over brave Mayo to deny any revenge mission

 Dublin players celebrate following the  Ladies All-Ireland senior football final win over Mayo at Croke Park. Photograph:  Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile **

Dubs savour sweet taste of success after suffering defeat in three finals in a row

Dublin’s Philly McMahon plays football with four-year-old Cathal Downey from Kildare while on the squad’s visit to  Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Philly McMahon explains just why this All-Ireland win felt like a precious gift

Dublin’s Sorcha Furlong tackles Cora Staunton of Mayo in last year’s All-Ireland ladies’ senior football semi-final. Photograph: ©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

Managers trade blows ahead of an All-Ireland football final that is rich in narrative

Dean Rock lands the free which won the All-Ireland for Dublin. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

From the best All-Ireland final since 2008 to Mayo’s gripping, gruelling odyssey

Final whistle: “There’s no point having talent on the bench if you’re not going to bring intelligence and energy on to the park,” said Kevin McManamon. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Six of winners’ 12 second-half points against Mayo come via subs

Dublin captain  Stephen Cluxton lifts the Sam Maguire Cup after the All-Ireland football final win over Mayo. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Dublin claim a third straight All-Ireland title as heartbeak continues for Mayo

Paddy Durcan equalises for Mayo and takes the All-Ireland semi-final with Kerry to a replay. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin reflects on an epic summer ahead of Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC final

Money or no money, Dublin are blessed with players. Players who have improved year on year, whose standards rarely drop, whose athleticism is off the charts.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Fears of one-team domination have echoed down through the generations

Sean Cavanagh made his final appearance for Tyrone in the All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Dublin. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin reflects on an epic summer ahead of Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC final

James McCarthy scores Dublin’s second goal in their comfortable Leinster SFC final win over Kildare. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

In the first of a three-part series, Malachy Clerkin reflects on an epic summer ahead of Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC final

Andy Moran reacts to a missed chance in last year’s All-Ireland SFC final. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Strip everything else away and accuracy is still the deciding factor in Sunday's final

Tyrone’s Cormac McAnallen lifts the Sam Maguire after the All-Ireland final victory over Armagh in 2003. ©INPHO/Patrick Bolger

The tragic tale of Tyrone’s lost leader is captured in Dónal's touching new biography

Joe Canning’s stunning late point sees Galway edge past Tipperary. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

From the epic semi-final between Tipp and Galway, to Austin Gleeson’s wonder goal

Joe Canning: the scream he sent up into the Cusack stand contained all the good and all the bad from 10 seasons’ toil. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

David Burke was probably man of the match, but the Galway forward was the story

Noel Connor was one of Waterford’s better performers in their All-Ireland SHC final defeat to Galway. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin runs the rule over the Déise after their agonising All-Ireland final loss

Galway’s Conor Whelan and Jonathan Glynn challenge Barry Coughlan and Tadhg De Burca in the air during the All-Ireland SHC final. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Déise find one too good as men from the west edge an epic to be crowned kings of summer

Waterford  manager Derek McGrath. Photograph: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

Waterford hurling manager has a bond with his players that goes well beyond the game

Waterford’s Jamie Barron scores his side’s fourth goal in their All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship  semi-final against Cork. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin looks back at the best moments of a pulsating summer of hurling

John O’Dwyer of Tipperary scores a point against Galway in the All-Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin looks back at the best moments of a pulsating summer of hurling

Gleeson flicks it past Matthew O’Hanlon of Wexford during their All-Ireland quarter-final. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin looks back at the best moments of a pulsating summer of hurling

Eoin Murphy: “I will be personally over the moon if we win. But I think honestly I will be over the moon for the group and the players.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

‘The best three weeks of my life followed by the worst six,’ says Waterford selector

Tyrone’s Colm Cavanagh encourages his team during the All-Ireland SFC semi-final against Dublin at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Tyrone and Ulster teams will need a tactical rethink after Dublin’s devastating show

You can be certain Jim Gavin has an idea of where he wants to go and who he wants to use already when his main men like Cluxton, O’Sullivan and Connolly finally move on. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Quietly-spoken pilot has been overseeing constant transition of a talented panel

Conor Gleeson will miss the All-Ireland hurling final after he was shown a red card in Waterford’s semi-final win over Cork. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Midfielder will miss All-Ireland final after Déise decide not to challenge ban further

Mayo’s Colm Boyle scores their second goal of the game. Photograph: Inpho

Mayo knew the weakness and targeted it, perhaps Aidan O’Shea could exploit further?

Kerry’s Bryan Sheehan misses a late, long-range free at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Kerry and Mayo must do it all again after a thriller replete with baffling tactical subplots

Tyrone lose to Kerry in the 1986 All Ireland Final. Will things be any different against Dublin on Sunday? Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

They may be top of the Ulster heap, but can Tyrone give Dublin the game of their lives?

Neither fish nor fowl: Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea marks Kerry’s Kieran Donaghy at the GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-final in Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Mayo’s gamble in sending him to mark Kerry’s Kieran Donaghy backfired spectacularly

Kieran Donaghy celebrates scoring a goal against Mayo in the 2014 All-Ireland SFC semi-final replay at the Gaelic Ground.  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

After not touching a football throughout the spring, Kerry's number 14 is wreaking havoc

Waterford hurlers are bidding to win a first All-Ireland senior hurling title since 1959. Photo: Inpho

Waterford waiting 58 years for Liam MacCarthy cup – Galway 29 without a win

Ireland captain Claire Molloy addresses the team in the huddle. Display against Australia was critically analysed by former team-mates.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Lynne Cantwell, Fiona Steed and Rosie Foley spared nothing in their analysis

Waterford’s Jamie Barron scores his side’s fourth goal against Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park.   Photograph: Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cork get burned off in frantic finale as Waterford march on to final with Galway

Waterford manager Derek McGrath celebrates his team’s victory over Cork at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Déise delight likely to be tempered by concern over Gleesons

Waterford’s Jamie Barron scores their fourth goal of the game past Cork goalkeeper Anthony Nash during the All-Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Déise delight with win over Cork tempered by disciplinary issues

Stephen O’Keeffe: “Stephen is the quarterback,” says Karl Cooney.  “He’s your Tom Brady. You need to be a bit of a freak to handle that responsibility.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Goalkeeper’s astute distribution now a key part of the Déise’s well-honed game plan

GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship quarter-final replay, Croke Park. Photograph: INPHO/James Crombie

Roscommon have no answer to Mayo's huge physicality in the middle third

Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor scores their fourth goal against Roscommon. Photograph: Inpho

All-Ireland quarter-final replay is a mismatch as Connacht champions are blitzed

Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea with John McManus, Niall McInerney and Colin Compton of Roscommon during the drawn quarter-final. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Young Roscommon side will relish another crack at neighbours in headquarters

Armagh’s James Morgan, Anthony Duffy and Joe McElroy look on dejected as Tyrone score a late point at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Kieran McGeeney says Armagh must learn to deal with suffocating defences

Tyrone’s David Mulgrew scores his side’s second goal despite the efforts of Armagh’s Niall Grimley and goalkeeper Blaine Hughes. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Peter Harte penalty ends game as a contest after only 15 minutes

Galway’s Joe Canning snaps  the sensational late winning point despite the efforts of Tipperary’s Niall O’Meara and Noel McGrath at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Galway’s talisman breaks Tipperary hearts with majestic last-gasp winning point

Galway’s Joe Canning watches his match-winning point go over the bar in the All-Ireland SHC semi-final against Tipperary  at Croke park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Sides level 12 times during the game before ace forward seals final spot for Tribesmen

Tyrone’s David Mulgrew scores his side’s second goal despite the attempts  of  Niall Grimley and goalkeeper Blaine Hughes of Armagh during the  All-Ireland SFC quarter-final at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Armagh’s attempt to go like for like tactically proves futile at Croke Park

Stephen Cluxton acknowledges the crowd in the celebrations after last year’s All-Ireland victory. Photograph: Inpho

Dublin captain takes all-time GAA appearances record against Monaghan on Saturday

 Conor McManus: Monaghan will be looking to their star forward for inspiration against Dublin at Croke Park. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Jim Gavin’s side don’t lose quarter-finals and Malachy O’Rrourke’s team don’t win them

Roscommon’s John McManus argues with Cillian O’Connor and Donal Vaughan of Mayo. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

The two sides will meet again on bank holiday Monday to see who plays Kerry

Roscommon fans cheer on their team during their All-Ireland SFC semi-final draw with Mayo. Photo: Inpho

A small county’s team going on a run that lasts this long is something to be savoured

Galway’s Eoghan Kerin and Paul Murphy of Kerry. Photograph: James Crombie

Despite giving Galway too many sights of goal, Kingdom won in second gear

Roscommon’s Sean McDermott and Jason Doherty of Mayo. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Fatigue not a factor for Mayo, says Stephen Rochford, giving credit to the opposition

Armagh’s James Morgan and Kildare’s Paul Cribbin. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

For the Ulster side, beating a Division One side to reach last eight is a fine achievement

Armagh’s Stephen Sheridan and Charlie Vernon with Kildare’s Kevin Feely. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Kieran McGeeney’s more clinical side head into another All-Ireland quarter-final

Kildare’s Fergal Conway is challenged by  Armagh’s Niall Grimley during the All-Ireland Round 4B qualifier at Croke Park. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Kieran McGeeney’s side return to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2014

Armagh midfielder Niall Grimley has been one of the finds of the championship. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Croke Park hosts the last two football qualifiers and the first two quarter-finals

Mayo’s Andy Moran celebrates scoring a goal against Roscommon in the FBD League. Photograph: Inpho

Published ahead of the 2011 Connacht final; The strange situation of Ballaghaderreen

Massed Mayo ranks at the 2015 All-Ireland semi-final replay against Dublin. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Supporters of Stephen Rochford’s team have all been aboard a magical roller-coaster

Down’s Conor McGinn in action against Tyrone. The Mourne men will be seeking to secure a quarter-final place when they face Tyrone.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Over 100,000 expected at headquarters as eight teams put their year’s hopes on the line

Dublin will play their quarter-final on Saturday August 5th. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Headquarters to host the final 12 games in football and hurling championships

Wexford’s Davy Fitzgerald speaks to his team before the game on Sunday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Both teams progressed in 2017 but they have hardly made giant strides

Kildare manager Cian O’Neill patrols the sideline at Croke Park yesterday. Photograph: Inpho/Oisín Keniry

Turnovers identified as biggest disappointment by manager

Croke Park  provide sports psychologists for referees now to work on mental issues, including going again after a bad performance. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Tipping Point: GAA quite happy with the standard of the current batch of officials

 James McCarthy scores Dublin’s second goal despite the efforts of Kildare’s  David Hyland during the Leinster football final at Croke Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Dublin and Tyrone retain their provincial titles with convincing victories on Sunday

Bernard Brogan was a force off the bench for Dublin in their Leinster final win over Kildare. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Jim Gavin’s side win seventh Leinster in a row as spirited Lilywhites fall way short

 Paul Cribbin  during a Collingwood AFL training session  in Melbourne, Australia, in 2012: he was  approached by AFL scouts at the end of the Hogan Cup final in 2009. Photograph:  Robert Prezioso/Getty Images

Paul Cribbin, Kevin Feely, Daniel Flynn and Paddy Brophy all tried their hand at pro sport

You gain a community at the click of a finger, regardless of the level you’re playing at

Fans take photos of Jon Rahm as he plays his second shot at the 13th during the final round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images

Tipping Point: The silence, snooty attitudes and sacred rules are all still holding golf back

Clare’s John Conlon gets his shot away under pressure from Cork’s Colm Spillane during Sunday’s Munster hurling final at Semple Stadium, Thurles.Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Clare unable to find their rhythm against Kieran Kingston’s in-form side in Thurles

Michael Murphy of Donegal takes a free  during his team’s win over Meath in Navan. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Extra-time looked a certainty, until it wasn’t, and Paddy McBrearty stole it at the death

Clare’s John Conlon is blocked down by Colm Spillane of Cork during the Munster Senior Hurling Championship final at Semple Stadium, Thurles. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The Rebels brushed aside Clare in Thurles as they continue to defy the critics this year

 Galway manager Kevin Walsh celebrates with Gareth Bradshaw after winning the Connacht Senior Football Championship final replay against Roscommon last year. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Manager has led young side to Connacht Senior Football Championship final once again

Donegal’s Patrick McBrearty celebrates scoring the winning point late in the Round 3A football qualifier against Meath at Páirc Tailteann in Navan. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Patrick McBrearty’s late point seals tight encounter against Meath in Navan

Roscommon’s Ciarán Murtagh was a one-man resistance in last year’s Connacht senior final defeat to Galway. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Donegal, Meath and Monaghan should progress from pick of the All-Ireland qualifiers

During his visit to Ireland in 1979, Pope John Paul II didn’t visit Croke Park. Photo: Getty Images

All Ireland finals may have been brought forward but the Vatican aren’t too happy

“Their side fell in the end to a 0-29 to 1-17 beating but this will still be the summer when Wexford hurling was reborn.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Micheál Donoghue’s side could be the outstanding team the championship is lacking

 Galway’s Adrian Tuohey upends Harry Kehoe of Wexford. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Galway win battle of the skies in front of record crowd to underline All-Ireland credentials

Rebels with a cause. Cork line up for the Munster semi-final against Tipperary.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Peadar Healy’s team hardly brimming with confidence as they face Kerry in Killarney

James O’Donoghue: will pose a big threat to Cork in Killarney. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Kerry likely to add to their haul of Munster silverware against out-of-sorts Cork

Dublin manager Jim Gavin: ‘I’ve a duty of care for the player and I firmly believe there was an attack on his good name.’ Photo: Inpho

Dubs manager withdraws co-operation with broadcast media after Connolly coverage

Dublin’s Niall Scully has his shot blocked by Killian Daly. Photograph: Inpho

Between the 13th minute and half-time, Dublin scored 1-11. Westmeath only scored 0-1

Nameless, faceless band of brothers are an essential component in the Association

Cork manager Kieran Kingston and assistant manage Diarmuid O’Sullivan celebrates at the final whistle of the  Munster senior hurling semi-dinal against Waterford. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Kieran Kingston's side have too much for curiously wan Waterford

 Kildare’s Chris Healy and Fionn Dowling celebrate after the game. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Cian O'Neill's side were far superior, with their full-forward line scoring 2-9 from play.

Cork’s Conor Lehane looks to secure possession under pressure from Tadgh de Burca during Cork’s Munster SHC semi-final win over Waterford. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Rebels too lively for leaden opponents as they defy baking heat to reach Munster SHC final

Cathal McNally celebrates scoring Kildare’s opening goal in their win over Meath in Tullamore. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

O’Neill’s side show they are Dublin’s closest Leinster challengers after first half rout

Cian O’Neill with his young Kildare team. “I would see us as similar in terms of our stage of development,” he says of Meath.  “Two very young teams, both in terms of players and what the managers are trying to do.”  Photograph: Donal Farmer/Inpho

Experienced coach aiming to lead his native county to a first Leinster final since 2011

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