John Kiely addresses his Limerick panel after the All-Ireland semi-final win against Cork at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The county has got carried away in the past and is paranoid about doing it again

Tyrone’s Tiarnan McCann with Niall Kearns of Monaghan, All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final. Photograph:  ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

The buzz in the county last week was in the hope of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

Dublin’s Jack McCaffrey and Johnny Heaney of Galway in action at  the All-Ireland SFC semi-final in Croke Park on Saturday. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Manager is going the right way about building his team into a permanent empire

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte celebrates his team’s All-Ireland SFC semi-final win over Monaghan at Croke Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Monaghan manager Malachy O’Rourke frustrated at referee Anthony Nolan’s decisions

Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton saves a penalty from Galway’s Eamonn Brannigan. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Galway pay penalty for missed first half chances as champions return to the final

Tyrone’s Pádraig Hamsey tackles Michael Darragh Macauley. Macauley’s swashbuckling runs through the centre were a feature of Dublin’s style back in 2013 and 2014/15. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Jim Gavin’s team is patient, methodical and has no fear of facing packed defences

Galway’s Pádraig Mannion in action against Clare’s Peter Duggan. “I’m not sure is it because of last year. It’s just that the players have kind of matured.” Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho GAA

‘You don’t need any extra motivation, just try and get the body right and go again’

Galway’s Jonathan Glynn scores a  goal against Clare during the All-Ireland semi-final replay in Semple Stadium, Thurles. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Canning again in princely form as he turns in another Man of the Match performance

Galway manager Micheál Donoghue: “But I think our boys worked hard, identified the threat, worked in numbers.” Photograph: Getty Images

‘Normally our efficiency is much, much higher than that,’ insists Clare’s co-manager

Galway’s Joe Canning scores a late sideline cut in the All-Ireland SHC semi-final replay at Semple Stadium in Thurles. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Aron Shanagher had chance late on to steal a win for Clare at Semple Stadium

Joe Canning scores a point from a sideline ball against Clare at Croke Park. There are some doubts about his fitness in advance of the replay at Semple Stadium in Thurles.  Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Clare and Galway go again, Donegal, Tyrone and Monaghan enter last-chance saloon

Monaghan’s Rory Beggan in action against Kerry. “You need to be confident that you will hit the spaces when they eventually do come. You just have to be aware of what kick-out is right at the right time.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Goalkeeper’s kick-outs and accuracy from placed balls now a huge asset for Ulster side

Limerick's William O’Donoghue and Cian Lynch celebrate after their All-Ireland SHC semi-final win over Cork. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Galway, prior to 2017, knew too much what it was like to be close yet a million miles away 

Galway’s Conor Whelan and Conor Cooney tangle with Patrick O’Connor and Jack Browne of Clare during their All-Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Two epic semi-finals see Cork crash out as Galway and Clare prepare for a replay

Clare’s managers Gerry O’Connor and Donal Moloney look on as Galway’s Joe Canning leaves the field the injured. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘It was great that the occasion wasn’t wasted on us’, says Clare's Shane O’Donnell

Clare’s Jason McCarthy scores the equalising point against Galway at Croke park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

All-Ireland champions roar out of the blocks before they are slowly but surely reeled in

Limerick’s Seamus Flanagan posed big problems for the Cork defence in the drawn clash at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/INpho

Can Clare reproduce the heady mix of 2013 as they bid to dethrone formidable champions?

Limerick manager John Kiely celebrates with his mother Breda after the quarter-final victory over Kilkenny in Thurles. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

A promise made after a hiding from Tipperary in 2009 is coming to fruition

It’ll take you up to the best part of €2,000 a year just to watch your mixture  of sport. Photograph:  Chris Radburn/PA

Punters being asked to stump up more and more as the coverage of sport fragments

The ball goes past Monaghan goalkeeper Rory Beggan, scored by David Clifford of Kerry (out of picture) for Kerry’s late goal at St Tiernach’s Park in Clones. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Monaghan fail to make it count when on top in Clones as David Clifford saves Kerry's summer

David Clifford celebrates after scoring Kerry’s late goal in the All-Ireland quarter-final Super 8 game against Monaghan at St Tiernach’s Park in Clones. Photograph:  Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile via Getty Images

David Clifford takes the rug out from under Monaghan’s feet with late goal in Clones

 Cork City fans display a banner in  memory of Liam Miller during their Champions League tie against Legia Warsaw earlier this month. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Liam Miller episode the latest in a series of PR disasters for the association

Éamonn Fitzmaurice: When Kerry fans are nit-picking at the energy he’s showing, it’s obviously a symptom of something much bigger. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

There is an undeniable sense of a dam about to burst if Kerry don’t beat Monaghan

Kerry’s David Moran and Seán Andy Ó Ceallaigh of Galway at Croke Park last Sunday. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

David Moran, Paul Geaney and Paul Murphy need to stand up and be counted in Clones

Roscommon fans in good voice during the All-Ireland qualifier victory over Armagh at O’Moore Park.  Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Enjoy the qualifiers for what they are instead of wishing they were something else

Galway’s Conor Whelan and Jonathan Glynn with Paul Murphy of Kilkenny during the Leinster final replay at Semple Stadium in Thurles. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Micheál Donoghue’s side much too strong for old rivals in Leinster final replay at Thurles

Galway manager Micheál Donoghue and  Kilkenny manager Brian Cody during the Leinster final replay at Semple Stadium, Thurles. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cody delighted by the way Kilkenny fought back to get within shouting distance of Galway

Carlow’s Chris Nolan celebrates scoring a goal in the Joe McDonagh Cup final. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

The Joe McDonagh Cup has been a success so format changes are proving unpopular

Mayo’s Diarmuid O’Connor reacts to a missed goal chance during the qualifier defeat to Kildare in Newbridge. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

This isn’t the end of Mayo’s quest for Sam but it is an end of sorts for a gallant group

Cork’s Darragh Fitzgibbon tries to get away from Clare’s David McInerney and Seadna Morey at Semple Stadium. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Lohan

Impressive comeback leaves Cork in last four while Galway and Kilkenny must meet again

Cork’s Seamus Harnedy scores a goal past Clare’s goalkeeper Donal Tuohy during the Munster SHC final at Semple Stadium. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The Leesiders trailed by eight points at one stage but came back to emerge victorious

Kilkenny goalkeeper Eoin Murphy: “He’s the best in the game now and when he’s finished, he’ll be one of the best ever.”

‘He’s the best in the game now and when he’s finished, he’ll be one of the best ever’

Cork’s Seamus Harnedy fires home a crucial late goal in the win over Waterford at Thurles. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Only eight teams have gone longer unbeaten in the province than John Meyler’s side

Stephen O’Brien celebrates scoring Kerry’s first goal at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday evening. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Eamonn Fitzmaurice's side stroll through to the Super-8s and play Galway next

Kerry’s Kieran Donaghy with his daughter Lola Rose after the Munster final. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

‘Whatever my role, it will be to help Kerry get over the line, that’s what I will do’

Kerry’s Stephen O’Brien scores their first goal past Mark White. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Two early goals for the Rebels gave the Munster Final the false appearance of a contest

A dejected Michael Murphy leaves the pitch after Galway’s convincing victory over Donegal in last year’s All-Ireland qualifiers at Markievicz Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Record shows ultra-defensive system won’t be enough to contend for All-Ireland glory

The Kerry team break from the team photo before the Munster final replay of 2015 at Fitzgerald Stadium. Kerry went on to win 1-11 to 1-6. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Kerry’s ability to build early leads has killed the Rebels in recent years

Galway’s Damien Comer and Shane Walsh celebrate after the match at Hyde Park. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Roscommon fail to go back-to-back as Shane Walsh inspires Tribesmen at Dr Hyde Park

Roscommon’s Enda Smith and Donal Smith celebrate with supporters last year’s Connacht final victory over Galway at Pearse Stadium. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

McStay’s side are underdogs despite being defending champions on their home patch

Clare’s  Patrick O’Connor  and Tipp’s Séamus Callanan  after the final whistle.  Photograph: Ray McManus/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Two of last year’s All-Ireland semi-finalists bow out of championship in early June

Dublin’s Stephen Cluxton is fouled by James McGivney of Longford. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Jim Gavin’s team stroll to 19-point victory and ease to another Leinster final at Croke Park

Limerick warm up before their All-Ireland Munster SHC clash with Cork. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

It's only two years since TJ Ryan was complaining about 'vultures' undermining them

Kilkenny’s Enda Morrissey and Cillian Buckley in action against  Lee Chin and Rory O’Connor of Wexford during the  Leinster SHC round-robin  match at Nowlan Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Wexford let nine-point lead slip as Kilkenny reach Leinster final

Mayo are among those in action in the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers this weekend. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

There are 18 intercounty games down for decision over a weekend never seen before

Eoin Donnelly rises high to flick home Fermanagh’s winning goal against Monaghan in the Ulster SFC semi-final at Healy Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Gallagher’s underdogs stun Monaghan and qualify for their sixth ever Ulster final

Clare’s Conor McGrath is challenged by  Shane Fives and Darragh Fives at Cusack Park. The latter is one of several Waterford players absent through injury for the clash with Tipperary. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

At most, only seven of last year's All-Ireland final team will start against Tipperary

John McGrath: barely touched the ball in the first half yesterday before being untouchable in the second. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Premier County faithful never quite sure of what their heroes will produce on any given day

Tipeprary’s Brendan Maher and Daniel Kearney of Cork in action at Semple Stadium. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Michael Ryan’s side show real character to claw back a nine-point interval deficit

Cork’s Bill Cooper tackles Patrick Maher of Tipperary in their Munster championshop clash in Thurles. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Substitute Jake Morris keeps Mick Ryan's side alive in the Munster Championship

Boidu Sayeh: “I didn’t actually find Gaelic that hard to pick up really, thinking back – I had great coaches.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Liberian-born 22-year-old thankful for his new life far from his African homeland

A relaxed  Tiger Woods chats with Jordan Spieth during the final round of The Players Championship  at TPC Sawgrass in Florida. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

It's hard to root for Tiger Woods the person; it's hard not to root for Tiger Woods the golfer

Tyrone’s Ronan O’Neill with Monaghan’s Ryan Wylie and goalkeeper Rory Beggan. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Rory Beggan and Conor McManus is sparkling form for Malachy O'Rourke's side

Jason Forde: was the outstanding player in the country in the league and merits a place in Tipperary’s starting championship attack.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Finding room for the surfeit of talent at his disposal a conundrum for Michael Ryan

Offaly’s Sean Gardiner Galway’s Conor Whelan in action at O’Connor Park, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

All-Ireland champions begin their defence with a five-goal barrage in Tullamore

The Irish team await the arrival of President Michael D Higgins before the start of the test match against Pakistan at Malahide cricket club in Dublin. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Life is tough for minority sports so it was fun to watch Ireland achieve test status

Liam Blanchfield celebrates his late goal in Kilkenny’s win over Dublin. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Pat Gilroy’s side let Cats slip from their grasp as Liam Blanchfield’s goal secures victory

Jason Flynn scores one of Galway’s five goals against Offaly. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Donoghue’s side find their range but have plenty to do before the Cats come calling

Dublin’s Dean Rock: “I’m quite proud of who I am as a person and who I represent, and football has been a massive part of that.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

A day job with the disability charity Stewarts Care has changed Dean Rock’s life

Jim Gavin: if Dublin’s first championship outing is fixed for Saturday May 26th the game would clash with the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid. Photograph: James Crombie/Ipho

Leinster Council must have the cop on not to go up against Liverpool v Real Madrid

Galway have either won the All-Ireland or been put out by the champions in five of the past six seasons. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

All we know for sure is they lost the two league games they had to win in 2018

Everyone flying blind as new hectic schedule places extreme demands on players

New York in action against Sligo at Gaelic Park last year. “When you have no National League and no challenge games, it’s harder to put it in. A win would be huge,” says Justin O’Halloran. Photograph: Andy Marlin

Manager Justin O’Halloran hoping for a first win for exiles at 20th attempt

Mickey Harte: his  views are clearly deeply-held. But they are his views – not the GAA’s – and he has a responsibility to make that clear. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho

Country’s biggest sporting organisation has no position on the Eighth Amendment

Keith Donoghue celebrates winning the  Glenfarclas Chase at Cheltenham on Tiger Roll. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Jockey happy to be back riding again after the frustrating battles with his weight

 Willie Mullins: has assembled the usual formidable team for the Leopardstown Festival.  Pat Healy/PA Wire.

Mullins and Elliott set to bring an epic campaign to a fitting conclusion at Punchestown

Anthony Daly, who is now managing Kilmacud Crokes: “I think at the end of this year, everyone needs to sit down and work out what went right and what didn’t.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Anthony Daly and James Horan know issue from both sides and say idea doesn’t work

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody celebrates after his side score their second goal in their 2-23 to 2-16 Division 1A final victory over Tipperary at Nowlan Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Kilkenny manager delights in league victory after recovering from slow start to campaign

 Kilkenny manager Brian Cody watched his team win another national title on Sunday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

TJ Reid and Walter Walsh lead the bullying of the Tipperary defence in second half

Shane McGrath and his disappointed Tipperary team-mates after the 2-17 to 0-20 league final defeat to Kilkenny at Nowlan Park  in 2013. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ryan’s men can end a poor record in league finals by defeating arch-rivals Kilkenny

 Galway’s Damien Comer takes on Dublin’s David Byrne. Dublin’s plan for Comer was a man-marker on the edge of the square and a sweeper patrolling the arc in front of him. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Being sent to mark the Galway full-forward must be like being asked to break a bronco

Dublin’s Michael Darragh Macauley and Paul Conroy of Galway scuffle off the ball. Photograph: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Jim Gavin’s 14th title as Dubs manager is show of strength given the number of absentees

Cavan players celebrate clinching promotion back  to the top flight after the last-gasp win over Tipperary at  Kingspan Breffni Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Claiming a divisional title would mean a lot to both Ulster counties and O’Brien’s side

Cavan’s Niall Murray with Roscommon’s Cathal Cregg during the All-Ireland championship qualifier at Kingspan Breffni Park in 2015. Roscommon won 3-17 to 1-16. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Over the last decade the two counties have developed the quirkiest rivalry in Gaelic football

Galway  obviously got under Dublin’s skin in the final league game at Salthill,  sufficiently so for it to turn into a wrestling match down the stretch. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Galway got under Dublin's skin and may pay for it in the league final

Gareth Southgate: the England manager won’t say a syllable out of place between here and the Tunisia game 12 weeks from now. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

Southgate’s thoroughly pedestrian side seem devoid of the usual preening self-regard

Ryan Wylie of Monaghan attempts to block Dublin’s Philly McMahon during the Allianz Football League Division One game at  Croke Park. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Fintan Kelly’s 74th-minute point seals deal for Malachy O’Rourke’s side at headquarters

The hurley of Tipperary’s Michael Cahill breaks while blocking a shot from Paul Winters during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A quarter-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

John McGrath stars for Mick Ryan's team who were eight points down after 10 minutes

Pat Gilroy: when his team is fully formed, it will likely be made up of big men and hard workers first of all.  Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Nobody has used more players in the league so far and there are plenty more to come

Monaghan’s Conor McManus and Dublin’s  Mick Fitzsimons may renew acquaintances at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Allianz Football League previews

Ireland’s Tadhg Furlong supported by Iain Henderson goes on a charge against England at Twickenham during Six Nations match. Photograph: Inpho

Fascinating thing was that the tighthead prop was the player chosen by Schmidt for key pass

Wexford warm up ahead of their game with Tipperary last month. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Clare and Wexford have favoured settled teams, everyone else has preferred to mix and match

For a lot of folk, Cheltenham presents the four  days in the year where it feels acceptable to gamble in a way that we just wouldn’t on the other 361 days. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty

Tony O’Reilly was the sort of fun-bet punter most of us are – until it got out of control

Dublin’s Shane Carthy celebrates after Niall Scully scored their first goal against Kerry in the Division One clash at Croke Park. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Galway’s visit to Wexford the pick of the four hurling quarter-finals next weekend

Tempers flare between Dublin and Kerry during their Allianz League Division One clash at Croke Park. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Éamonn Fitzmaurice’s young side were no match for the All-Ireland champions

 Adrian McGoldrick walking back with with jockey Brian O’Connell after a fall

The Turf Club’s senior medical officer will not take his eyes off a jockey after a fall

Seán O’Shea: strong, square-shouldered and always willing, he has been the focal point of Kerry’s attack playing at centre-forward. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Influx of footballing talent from successful minor squads points to a bright future

Cabin fever: sport in Ireland didn’t exist this weekend. That’s once-in-a-lifetime stuff. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Think of the blood not pumped and heads not cleared in a weekend without sport

Tipperary’s Tomás Hamill challenges Kilkenny’s Walter Walsh. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Kilkenny and Tipperary a thriller but not a classic, Leinster sides struggling in league

Dublin’s Paul Mannion  gets a way from Eoin O’Donoghue of Mayo during Saturday’s Allianz Laegue game at MacHale Park. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Jim Gavin’s side would have won by plenty more at McHale Park if they had needed to

Mayo goalkeeper Rob Hennelly is unable to keep out Paul Mannion’s early goal. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Scoreboard flatters Mayo after turgid Division One encounter at MacHale Park

Páraic Duffy with taoiseach Enda Kenny watch Mayo play Tyrone in the All-Ireland senior  football championship semi-final at Croke Park in August 2013. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Páraic Duffy on retirement: ‘If Croke Park was in Monaghan, I’d have the perfect job’

Malachy O’Rourke: “We were glad we were able to hold our composure, even when we went down to 14 men, and finish out the game.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Conor McManus’s late free seals first home win over the Kingdom in 30 years

 Kerry’s Brian O’Beaglaoich is tackled by  Neil McAdam of Monaghan. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Kerry give themselves too much to do in Inniskeen

John Meyler: “It’s a process of being competitive, getting in new players, trying to fill a few gaps wherever you saw weaknesses last year.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Rebel supporters hoping to see their team build on the ample promise of last season

Tyrone’s Padraig McNulty with Tommy Moolick of Kildare during their Allianz League Division One clash. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

In a closely fought contest Kildare came out on the wrong side of a one-point defeat again

Ciarán Deely: “It’s validation of what we’ve been doing here to win a game. It tells us and the players that we’re doing something right.” Photograph: Gerry McManus/Inpho

Big win over Wicklow a red-letter day for all involved with the cause of London GAA

A mural in memory of MMA fighter Joao Carvalho in Pragal near Lisbon. Photograph: Malachy Clerkin

‘It's hard but at least everyone knows now what conditions were like at the fight’

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody: Sunday was his 225th league and championship game in charge. Photograph: ©INPHO/ Ryan Byrne

In Nowlan Park on Sunday, Cody's side once again looked desperately ordinary

Kilkenny’s Martin Keoghan attempts to block Clare’s David Reidy during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A match at  Nowlan Park in Kilkenny. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Despite being 11 points down early on Brian Cody’s side almost scrape a draw

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