Ballyhale Shamrocks’ Michael Fennelly on the burst in the Kilkenny championship final against James Stephens in October. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ballyhale captain looks to finish in style before joining Borris-Ileigh’s Kelly on sideline

Paul Mannion: “Everyone’s talking about it; why should it be just five? Because it hadn’t been done before? What if it was six? We’d all be going with the same hunger and fervour.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

All Star forward says Dublin have no intention of fading away after five-in-a row feat

Kerry’s Paul Geaney:   “Just get a mark now, and you have a shot at goal.” Photograph:  Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Kerry forward says it is a change that has come in to alter a game already changing

Rory O’Connor of Wexford, Alan Cadogan of Cork, Eir sport analyst Joe Brolly, Paul Geaney of Kerry and Paul Mannion of Dublin. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Analyst talks of his hurt at how his 20-year stint ended at RTÉ and doesn’t rule out working with Sky

 New England Patriots quarter-back Tom Brady leaving the field after losing to Tennessee Titans in their playoff game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photograph: EPA/John Cetrino

Interesting times ahead if the serial Super Bowl winner moves to another team

  Kilkenny’s Paul Murphy and Brian Hogan challenge Patrick Maher of Tipperary in the drawn All-Ireland final of 2014. Photograph: Dan Sheridan

How many games in any sport made you feel the need to claim a state of wonder?

Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton lifts the Sam Maguire Cup after the victory over Kerry in he All-Ireland SFC Final replay at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Marie Crowe and Colin Byrne join some of our writers to look back on the highs and lows

Reece Denieffe and Ross Dunphy celebrate their Leinster Club SFC  semi-final, win over Portlaoise. Photograph: Tom O’Hanlon/Inpho

A first Leinster final in 21 years beckons for the Carlow side who once ruled Leinster

Jim Gavin: his decision  to leave was taken towards the end of last week and only communicated to players and officials on Saturday morning. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Either Gilroy or Farrell the likely successor to all-conquering former boss Gavin

Players and supporters celebrate after Kilcoo’s victory over Naomh Conaill in the AIB Ulster Club SFC Final at  Healy Park in  Omagh. Photograph: Evan Logan/Inpho

Down club were coasting until they let Glenties in for two goals just before half-time

Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton celebrates with Jim Gavin after Dublin’s fifth All-Ireland title in a row. Photo: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin: Modest manager would have you believe his role was minimal

Mickey Moran: the Kilcoo manager has coached teams at every level, club, colleges, county over  four decades.Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Derry native doing his best to help Down kingpins Kilcoo get over the provincial line

 Donald Trump plays a round of golf after the opening of The Trump International golf links course in Aberdeen, Scotland, in July, 2012. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty

Richie Sadlier and Donald McRae feature among others in the best of 2019

 Gordon D’Arcy and Paul Howard, collaborators on Gordon’s game.   Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Rugby, soccer and a colouring book of Ireland's best female sports stars

‘Carl wouldn’t have been long diagnosing our shortcomings. You could have just seen him at the afters on Saturday night, standing outside the pub pulling the good out of a fag and shaking his smiley head.’

Without Carl’s name attached the tournament might well have faded from view by now

Ballyboden’s Colm Basquel scores a goal against Garrycastle. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Robbie McDaid outstanding as Dublin champions remain unbeaten in 2019

Doireann O’Sullivan in action for Mourneabbey against Foxrock Cabintteely: “We had worked so hard for it. It wasn’t just something we did in 2018 – we had worked so hard over all those years. It was half a decade’s work going into one All-Ireland final.” Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

All-Ireland club champions from Cork know how hard it is to conquer the summit

Magheracloone Mitchells GAA Club grounds and Community Centre, with the crack caused by a collapsed mine clearly visible. Photograph: Pat Byrne

When the ground opened up at Magheracloone GAA club, the community didn’t buckle

Ulster’s Robbie Stockdale makes a try -saving interception  to deny Bath’s  Semesa Rokoduguni and clinch victory for the visitors during the Pool Three clash at the Recreation Ground. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Jacob Stockdale’s heroics a reminder of the ceaseless chug of the sporting train

Clontibret’s Conor McManus celebrates at the final whistle  after the Ulster quarter-final victory over famed Armagh kingpins Crossmaglen. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Monaghan champions in bonus territory having almost lost their senior status a year ago

2009: Thierry Henry and Richard Dunne. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

From McAteer against the Netherlands to, yep, Henry against us (and the rules)

Denise O’Sullivan with the 2019 PFA Ireland women’s senior International Player of the Year award at The Marker Hotel in Dublin. Photograph:  Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Tipping Point: win would put Ireland in a good position to qualify for the 2021 Euros

Ballyboden’s Ryan Basquel is tackled by Thomas Costello of Newtown Blues. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Louth’s Newton Blues are competitive but Dublin champions pull away at the death

Borris-Ileigh’s Paddy Stapleton and Paul Flynn of Kiladangan in the Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship final at  Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co Tipperary on Sunday November 3rd.  Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

A county final is a day in the life of a place by itself, but it only matters to who it matters to

Ireland’s Nicola Daly and  Danielle Hennig of Canada during their Olympic hockey qualifier, first leg, at Energia Park, Donnybrook,  Dublin. Photograph:  Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Sport is sitting in the pissings of rain with your hands too cold to get purchase on the zip

Borris-Ileigh’s Kieran Maher and Dan McCormack celebrate at the final whistle. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

This victory was made all the more special after a year of tragedy off the field in 2019

Thomas Davis players celebrating their victory over Kilmacud Crokes in their  Dublin senior football championship semi-final in  Parnell Park. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Manager Paul Kelly sees his Tallaght team head to Parnell Park as massive underdogs

Tipperary goalkeeper Brian Hogan claims his first Hurling All  Stars awards and follows in the footsteps of his father, Ken, who won one in  1987. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Brian Hogan, Diarmuid O’Keeffe and Lee Chin win their first awards

Cian Johnson of Offaly and Wexford’s Martin O’Connor. Johnson  played  O’Byrne Cup and National League for  Offaly seniors  in his Leaving Cert year.  Photograph: Tom Beary/Inpho

Cian Johnson is aiming to inspire his side to a first county title in 25 years on Sunday

Richie Sadlier’s book is raw without ever being miserable. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Book review: Former footballer’s deeply personal tale is storytelling of highest calibre

  James McClean and Glenn Whelan after Ireland conceded the goal in the first half. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Not a night to remember in Geneva as Malachy Clerkin hands out the marks

Gordon D’Arcy and Paul Howard with Gordon’s Game, their  new children’s book. Photograph: Alan Betson

The children’s book by D’Arcy and Howard is a boy’s own story, a kind of abridged version of the rugby player’s career

Brian Lohan: the former Banner star remains one of the contenders for the Clare manager’s job. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Whoever finally emerges, it promises to be a rocky start to life for the incoming boss

Scotland head coach  Gregor Townsend could see his side go out of the Rugby World Cup if their final game against Japan on Sunday is cancelled. Photograph:   Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

It would have made the Thierry Henry carry-on seem like a typhoon in a teacup

Matty Forde: “It wasn’t the most attractive option at the time, that’s being honest about it.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Horan’s plan will need to amount to more than a rehashed Tommy Murphy Cup

 New Zealand’s  Sonny Bill Williams stretches to score the  All Blacks’ third try during the Rugby World Cup Pool B match against  Canada at the Oita Stadium. Photograph:  Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images

‘Kiwi commentary is the best commentary. The sense of superiority is constant and absolute’

Ireland’s players react after the defeat to Japan in the Pool A game at the Ecopa stadium in Shizuoka on Saturday. Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

Tipping Point: When it gets distilled down it comes back to people not liking people

England winger Joe Cokanasiga  is tackled by USA prop David Ainuu as he runs in to score a try during Rugby World Cup Pool C at the Kobe Misaki Stadium. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

One-sided games can prove a challenge but not to Tommy Bowe and the team

Head coach Joe Schmidt waves to fans  before Ireland’s World Cup opener against Scotland. Photograph:   Stu Forster/Getty Images

Tipping Point: We have up to six weeks left with best coach Irish rugby – arguably Irish sport – has had

England’s Gary Lineker celebrates scoring England’s opening goal against the Republic of Ireland in their 1990 World Cup match, one the striker remembers for a particularly  embarrassing moment. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Former player turned broadcaster talks candidly about social media vitriol and Brexit

Brian Fenton, Ciaran Kilkenny and Cian O’Sullivan of Dublin celebrate beating Kerry in the All-Ireland football final. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

On Saturday both teams played football from another planet. The game is forever changed

Dublin’s Jonny Cooper shows his emotion at the final whistle of the All-Ireland final replay. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

‘Sometimes when you get an opportunity . . . you have to push yourself to the top of the water’

Dublin manager Jim Gavin celebrates the victory over Kerry  with Jack McCaffrey. Photograph: Tom Honan

Dublin boss expands on Cluxton’s dedication and Murchan’s training ground goal

Captain Stephen Cluxton lifts the Sam Maguire trophy after Dublin secure a historic fifth title in a row after they defeated Kerry in the senior football final replay at Croke Park on Saturday. Photograph: Tom Honan/ The Irish Times.

Drive for five comes to fruition as Dublin win replay to claim fifth All-Ireland in succession

Tommy Walsh, Jack Sherwood and Jonathan Lyne thought their intercounty careers over

Westmeath celebrate after defeating Galway in the All-Ireland intermediate camogie championship final at  Croke Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Joe Dolan’s finest of The Westmeath Bachelor probably wasn’t the best choice

Galway players celebrating at the final whistle of the senior camogie All-Ireland  final in Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘We beat Cork, we beat Kilkenny, so I think we deserved this one,’ said Ailish O’Reilly

Galway’s Niamh Kilkenny and Aoife Donohue celebrate at the final whistle as they won the All-Ireland senior camogie championship title. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Midfielder was the standout performer as the Westerners took senior camogie title

Dublin players warm up before the All-Ireland final replay against Mayo in 2016.  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Players who have played in them see Dublin’s previous experience as an advantage

Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton saves from Paul Murphy of Kerry during the  All-Ireland senior football final  at Croke Park on Sunday. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Kerry had the wherewithal, but missed too many chances against 14-man Dublin team

Dean Rock’s late free went wide as the All-Ireland SFC Final ended in a draw. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Dean Rock’s late free drifts wide as sides set to meet again on Saturday week

Dublin’s Jack McCaffrey celebrates after scoring a goal with Paul Mannion. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

A year on from a brilliant defensive display the wing back was at his most lethal in loose role

 Brian Fenton and Michael Darragh Macauley attack a Mayo kickout in the semi-final. Photogaph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Kingdom 'keeper Shane Ryan will need to keep his cool in the face of overwhelming pressure

 Con O’Callaghan celebrates one of his two goals during Dublin’s  2-6 blitz against Mayo.  Photograph: Tommy Dickson

Championship 2019: From Castlebar to Croke Park, from Clones to Killarney

Diarmuid Connolly scores his side’s first goal past goalkeeper David Clarke during the 2016 final replay. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Jim Gavin’s side are on the brink of history but there has been plenty of drama since 2015

Jim Gavin: “If a player isn’t executing his skillset or the game plan, ultimately the root cause of it isn’t the player – it’s me. The buck stops with me.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Exacting standards he learnt in aviation industry now being applied to football

 Michael Darragh Macauley: “There’s a lot of pieces of the puzzle that have come together. But it won’t last forever. This Dublin team won’t last forever.”  Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Press night old hat for Macauley as he looks forward to his seventh All-Ireland final

 Tipperary’s Eamon O’Shea: “We can only be ourselves. Some days that answer doesn’t work, as we have shown. But we still want to play the way we play. That’s important.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘I love to see players going out and having self-expression. I love seeing them find ways to create’

Darragh Egan, Liam Sheedy, Eamon O’Shea and Tommy Dunne. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Liam Sheedy couldn’t have done it without his back-room, and had the grace to know it

Tipperary’s Pádraic Maher and Brendan Maher celebrate winning the All-Ireland hurling final at Croke Park. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Cats fought hard with 14 men in second half, but couldn’t halt Tipperary momentum

Kilkenny’s Paul Murphy can’t stop Séamus Callanan of Tipperary scoring his side’s second goal during the All-Ireland hurling final at Croke Park. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Sending off of Richie Hogan proves key as Liam Sheedy’s side pile on the scores

Kilkenny’s Pádraig Walsh celebrates at the full-time whistle of the  All-Ireland hurling semi-final against Limerick at Croke Park. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Tullaroan man’s versatility has made him indispensable to Brian Cody since 2014

Brian Cody celebrates Kilkenny’s 2008 All-Ireland final win over Waterford. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin compiles the figures which set Kilkenny manager apart from the rest

Jim Gavin: ‘The team is very humble, it has got its two feet on the ground, it understands what its purpose is.’ Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Dublin football manager remains firmly focused when asked about the five-in-a-row

Croke Park, Sunday: as Kerry and Tyrone warmed up to an atmosphere more fitting for a league semi-final, the general pall around the place felt like a pretty straightforward reaction to Dublin’s awesome second half the previous night. Photograph: Tommy Dickson: ©INPHO

Terrible crowd for Sunday’s second semi-final is bad news for football

Kerry’s David Clifford celebrates scoring a point during the All-Ireland semi-final win over Tyrone. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Peter Keane’s side will look to stop Dublin winning five-in-a-row in three weeks

 Con O’Callaghan celebrates scoring a goal against Dublin. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Two goals at the start of second half gets Dublin out the gap against Mayo

Jim Gavin in Omagh: “You saw what it meant to play for Dublin. A lot of fatigued, tired bodies inside there. They gave it everything. That’s all you ask.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

‘We have great trust and great faith in the squad’ says Dublin boss after Omagh win

Diarmuid Connolly of Dublin and Tyrone’s Michael McKernan vie for possession in Healy Park, Omagh. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Mayo’s latest last-stand shines out like a beacon in the final weekend of the Super-8s

Diarmuid Connolly on his return to action for Dublin in Omagh. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Diarmuid Connolly returns as both teams play second string XVs in Super 8s encounter

In five games so far this summer, a core group of 10 Dublin players have started every game. The average age of the team that beat Roscommon a fortnight ago was 27.7. Brian Howard was the only player under 25 in the side. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

For the first time in five summers, no new player has sealed a place in Dublin’s starting XV

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody celebrates at the final whistle of the  senior championship hurling semi-final in Croke Park on Saturday after his side’s 1-21 to 2-17 win over  Limerick. Photograph:    Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Pioneer of ‘chasing, blocking, hooking’ strategy through to 16th All-Ireland final

 Tipperary’s Padraic Maher, Alan Flynn and Ger Browne celebrate  their  1-28 to 3-20 senior hurling championship semi-final win over Wexford  in Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Sheedy’s side prove their mettle ahead of fifth All-Ireland final against Kilkenny in 10 years

Limerick’s Dan Morrissey with Walter Walsh of Kilkenny in the All-Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park on Saturday. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Kilkenny unleash tidal wave of manic intensity for 11th successive semi-final win

 Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy with Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald after Tipp’s  1-28 to 3-20 senior hurling championship semi-final win at Croke Park.  Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

‘It hurts so badly because Wexford haven’t been there in 23 years,’ says Davy Fitz

Kilkenny’s Pádraig Walsh and Paddy Deegan celebrate after the All-Ireland SHC semi-final victory over Limerick at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The Cats were never caught by the defending champions after TJ Reid’s first-minute score

Davy Fitzgerald: his Wexford side have only conceded two goals en route to the All-Ireland semi-final against Tipperary. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Formidable Limerick aren’t defending their All-Ireland, they’re attacking it

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy during his first round of the Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Photograph:  Reuters/Ian Walton

Tipping point: the Northern Ireland golfer folded under the pressure at Portrush

Mayo goalkeeper David Clarke and team-mates  defend a free during the Super 8s victory over  Meath at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Meath boss McEntee left to rue his side’s failure to convert their chances

Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor scores a goal past Meath’s substitute goalkeeper Marcus Brennan. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

On a different day against a better team, Mayo might not have got out of this one

Michael Murphy in action against Meath’s Shane McEntee. Murphy will make his 150th appearance in a Donegal shirt when he lines out against Kerry at Croke Park. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Munster champions’ attack can give them the edge over Donegal at headquarters

Tyrone’s Peter Harte is tackled by Cathal Cregg and Enda Smith of Roscommon. Photo: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Win over Roscommon was first against non-Ulster Division One side since 2013

Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea and David Moran of Kerry ascend under the dropping ball. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Kerry chief hails David Moran while Mayo boss admits side ‘comprehensively’ beaten

Kerry manager Peter Keane with midfielder David Moran after their victory over Mayo in Killarney. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Mayo given a hiding in Killarney while Donegal knuckle down to see off plucky Meath

GAA president John Horan: ‘No matter what I say in that debate it’s always going to be seen I’m going to say something with a bit of a shade of blue on my back.’ Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

GAA president supposed to be above the fray, but perception is that he is anything but

Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor reacts to a missed goal chance during their All-Ireland SFC Super 8s clash with Kerry. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

David Clarke’s kick-outs proved major problem for visitors as home side took advantage

Mayo's James Carr celebrates scoring against Galway in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship qualifiers in Co Limerick last Saturday. Photograph: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Fitzgerald Stadium clash will be a blockbuster instalment of a terrific championship

Mayo’s Darren Coen in action against Roscommon. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Forward took scenic route to becoming a key player for the league champions this season

The handball that brought the injury-time penalty for the Netherlands against Japan looked no different to the one not given to France at the same point in their quarter-final against the USA on Friday Photograph: Stephane Mahe/Reuters

It’s always dangerous to make bigger claims for a sporting event than it deserves or needs

 Lee Chin celebrates with manager Davy Fitzgerald after the Leinster final victory over Kilkenny at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Davy’s men deliver in Leinster thriller while champions avenge defeat to Tipp in style

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald on the team bus with the Leinster Championship trophy. Photograph:  Tommy Dickson/Inpho

‘If I told you the training they did. You would not believe the stuff we did in November’

Tipperary’s Noel McGrath tackling Limerick’s Shane Dowling in the Munster  hurling championship at Semple Stadium on June 16th. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Along with the two provincial hurling finals there’s also a dash of stardust about the football qualifiers

Wexford’s Conor McDonald celebrates a goal in extra time during the 2013 Leinster under-21 hurling final against Kilkenny at Wexford Park. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Victory over Kilkenny in the 2013 Leinster U21 final was the shot of adrenaline needed

Dublin’s Con O’Callaghan and Shane Gallagher of Meath in the Leinster  Senior Football Championship final in Croke Park. Photograph:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cranky Meath defending and slippery conditions mean Dublin are not able to disappear out of sight in their usual manner

Dublin’s Brian Howard holding aloft the  Delaney Cup after victory over Meath in the Leinster Championship final in Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Dublin aren’t in the Leinster championship anymore – they are the championship

Niall Coakley started against Kerry in 2017 - it turned out to be his final Cork appearance. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Expectations remain low as endless rebuild continues on Leeside

Cavan manager Mickey Graham celebrates after the Ulster championship semi-final victory over Armagh. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Cavan’s clash with Donegal takes centre stage as Munster and Leinster fail to enthuse

Donald McRae: “I do think that quite unusually as I’ve got older, I’ve become less judgemental.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Author and journalist has been honing his sportswriting craft for 35 years

Dublin’s Chris Crummy celebrates after the Leinster SHC round-robin game against Galway  at Parnell Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Dublin end Tribesmen’s summer in the middle of June

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