A view of Hill 16 during the All-Ireland SFC semi-final between Dublin and Galway. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Third-lowest football crowds in last 10 years could be down to a number of reasons

Tyrone’s Niall Sludden scores past Rory Beggan in the Monaghan goal. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Mickey Harte’s team score vital late goal to nudge into first All-Ireland final in 10 years

Dublin’s Jack McCaffrey celebrates with Brian Howard during the All-Ireland SFC semi-final against Galway at Croke Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Sean Moran reflects upon Dublin's semi-final win over Galway and where it leaves both

Tyrone’s Ronan O’Neill with Ryan Wylie and goalkeeper Rory Beggan of Monaghan in the Ulster SFC  quarter-final at Healy Park in May. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Monaghan evolved over Super 8s into formidable opponents, but it may not be enough

Dublin’s Brian Howard, David Byrne and Jonny Cooper with Eamonn Brannigan of Galway at the Allianz Football League Division 1 Final at Croke Park in April. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Connacht champions come to Croke Park after a poor show last week and with a lot to prove

Dublin and Galway in action in the Allianz Football League Division One Final. The teams meet again in the All-Ireland semi-final on Saturday at Croke Park. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Seven of All-Ireland champions since 2008 finished in top two Division One slots

Kerry’s manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice and his daughter Faye after his final game in charge against Kildare in Killarney. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Fitzmaurice’s parting comments show a dark side to the passions in Gaelic games

Tempers flare between Clare’s Jack Browne and Joe Canning of Galway. Photograph:  ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

The champions yet again squandered a big lead but held on to keep Clare at arm's length

Michael Murphy: wherever he plays, he’s likely to be pivotal to Donegal’s hopes of beating Tyrone to book a place in the All-Ireland semi-final.  Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Donegal face an ongoing challenge in making the most of their versatile captain’s rare talent

Monaghan’s Conor McManus in action during the All-Ireland quarter-final Super 8s game against Kerry in Clones. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The denouement of the inaugural Super 8s and the All-Ireland SHC semi-final replay

Referee Paud O’Dwyer throws the ball in for extra-time. Photograph:  Inpho/Oisín Keniry

Fears that the new Super 8s would overshadow hurling have been gloriously confounded

Clare’s Jason McCarthy scores the final equalising point in an incident-packed semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

McCarthy’s late point earns Banner a replay in Thurles after after a pulsating stalemate at HQ

Cork’s Bill Cooper blocks Peter Casey of Limerick during the All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho-

Breathtaking comeback catches Cork to turn around a riveting semi-final

Can Clare contain Galway’s Joe Canning? Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

All Ireland hurling semi-final throws-in at Croke Park at 5pm (Live, RTÉ2 and Sky Arena)

Senior GAA officials are today expected to recommend that a tribute soccer match for the late Liam Miller (pictured) can go ahead at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO.

Association had said it was prohibited in rule from hosting soccer game in Cork stadium

Shane O’Donnell in action for Clare against Wexford’s Damien Reck. He scored four points from play in the Banner’s quarter-final victory at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Injuries and his academic career have complicated the journey of one-time teenage superstar

Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Holding the Liam Miller tribute match at the 45,000-capacity stadium would allow thousands more fans to attend

Plan for GAA challenge game to raise funds for injured players to take place before soccer match

Páirc Uí Chaoimh: controversy erupted over its possible use as a venue for the  Liam Miller charity match. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Controversy over use of Páirc Uí Chaoimh shows it's time for rules to change

Tyrone’s Colm Cavanagh and Cathal McShane tackle Con O’Callaghan of Dublin at Healy Park, Omagh on Saturday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Tyrone’s counterattack lacks impact as champions' well-oiled machine pays dividends

Dublin’s Kevin McManamon celebrates a late score against Tyrone at Healy Park, Omagh. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Tyrone mount stubborn challenge to visitors in intense quarter-final battle at Healy Park

Dublin’s Dean Rock takes a free during the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final Super 8s game against Tyrone at  Healy Park in  Omagh. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Jim Gavin’s side secure semi-final spot as Tyrone head to Ballybofey for Donegal showdown

Dublin’s Eoghan O’Gara celebrates scoring his side second goal during the All-Ireland SFC semi-final at  Croke Park in August 2017. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

After a low-key start the new quarter-final series is set to step up a few gears

Dublin manager Jim Gavin: “He has that capacity to see in a guy particular qualities and they very rarely disappoint. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Jim Gavin hasn’t been slow to expand options through extensive auditioning structure

Darren Hughes of Monaghan and Kildare’s Kevin Feely in the first round-robin weekend, in front of plenty of empty seats in Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The round-robin format has work to do to convince sceptics after a faltering start

   Monaghan’s Darren Hughes in action against David Hyland and Johnny Byrne of Kildare during his side’s All-Ireland football quarter-final victory at Croke Park. Photograph:  Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Omagh and Newbridge will be at capacity for second phase of football quarter-finals

Kilkenny’s Martin Keoghan tussles with Limerick’s Tom Morrissey  during the quarter-final clash at Thurles. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Veteran of 1973 All-Ireland win impressed by unprecedented depth of Kiely’s young squad

Wexford’s Aidan Nolan tackles Clare’s Tony Kelly during the All-Ireland hurling quarter-final at Páirc Uí Chaomih. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Banner bound for semi-final as they prove too strong for Fitzgerald’s Wexford

Limerick’s Tom Morrissey celebrates scoring a late point. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

County fight back from late goal to record first championship win over Kilkenny since 1973

Clare’s Tony Kelly is challenged by Aidan Nolan of Wexford. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Fitzgerald’s side brushed off after getting back within touching distance in Cork

Anthony Molloy of Donegal is tackled by Dublin’s Paul Bealin  in  the 1992   All-Ireland  final. Photograph: Inpho

League quarter-finals of 26 years ago featured same double bill as this weekend

 Páraic Duffy: “The FDC debate and the work they did was absolutely crucial, and I think it’s important that that is recognised”

This weekend's momentous change the result of decades spent trying to fix championship

Galway fans on the field in Thurles after the game. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Having seen a 12-point lead whittled away the champions proved their mettle in replay

Galway’s Jonathan Glynn claims a high ball last Sunday. The All-Ireland champions were found wanting in a number of areas in the drawn match. Photograph: Inpho/Tommy Dickson

Kilkenny exposed frailties in form of champions and can now capitalise in the replay

Galway’s Cathal Mannion and Richie Leahy of Kilkenny in action during the drawn Leinster final at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

In 20 years under Brian Cody, Kilkenny have won five of six championship replays

Cathal Mannion celebrates a point against Kilkenny during last week’s drawn Leinster hurling final at Croke Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Galway should have enough in reserve to retain their Leinster hurling title

Kerry’s Sean O’Shea and Stephen O’Brien celebrate after the Munster final victory over Cork. Their next outing is against Galway at Croke Park. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Galway-Kerry game goes head-to-head with World Cup final but such clashes usually avoided

Micheál Donoghue: “There are areas we could have varied a lot more. Our game management wasn’t as good as other days.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Kilkenny manager praises his team's resilience in forcing Leinster final to a replay

Galway’s Conor Whelan wins a high ballduring the Leinster SHC final against Kilkenny at Croke Park. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Dramatic injury-time points force fitful champions to Thurles next Sunday for a replay

John Conlon: has proved a formidable presence in Clare’s attack, registering 1-14 from play. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

The Leinster and Munster SFC finals follow round three of the football qualifiers

St Conleth’s Park in Newbridge. Croke Park decreed it wasn’t suitable to host the Kildare versus Mayo game citing ‘health and safety’ concerns. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Croke Park’s CCCC has the ultimate responsibility of making fixtures

Michael Murphy: play a pivotal role for Donegal, he’s totally selfless, the controller in the middle of the park, the leader, incredibly disciplined and focused.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Pace, aggression and tactical acumen a common theme for Dubs, Kerry and Donegal

Dublin’s James McCarthy celebrates after beating Laois in the Leinster final. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

After a slow start the champions record their biggest Leinster final win this decade

Dublin’s Jack McCaffrey and Brian Fenton tackle Callum McCormack of Westmeath during the 2015 Leinster final. Photograph: James Crombie

Laois are optimistic but could find it difficult to bounce back from Leinster SFC final defeat

Ronan McCarthy: Cork have a more organised structure under his stewardship. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Kerry, Donegal and Dublin all strong favourites to capture silverware

Laois players  Finbarr Crowley and Kieran Lillis celebrating   their Leinster Championship semi-final win over Carlow in Croke Park.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Laois the first side from Division Four in a Leinster final since 1997

The Sam Maguire, modelled on the Ardagh chalice,  was first presented to Bill Gannon of Kildare in 1928

Speakers will address aspects of Maguire’s life and legacy, and the role of Protestants in the GAA

Waterford manager Derek McGrath after his side’s Munster championship Round Five defeat to Cork at Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co Tipperary. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Outgoing manager has been a dynamic presence and knew when it was time to go

Tony Kelly: Clare will be looking to the former Hurler of the Year to help inspire a victory over Limerick at Cusack Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Weekend previews: Connacht football final and Munster hurling championship

Limerick’s Ciaran Carey in action against beats Clare’s Ger O’Loughlin at the Gaelic Grounds in 1996. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Ciarán Carey’s winning point 22 years ago dethroned All-Ireland champions Clare

‘Guardians of the GAA’ charts the history of the force’s involvement in Gaelic Games

 Patrick O’Connor of Clare and Seamus Callanan of Tipperary after the match at Semple Stadium in Thurles. Photograph: Ray McManus/Sportsfile via Getty Images

All-Ireland winners from two years ago will play no further part in 2018 championship

It’s a big weekend for Waterford. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

We’re set for another pulsating weekend of hurling action as the round-robins get closer

A GAA strategic plan steering group will conduct a formal review of the All-Ireland and provincial championships. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Currently, inter-county championships in both football and hurling are being played under an experimental format

Meath manager Andy McEntee during the Leinster football championship quarter-final against Longford at  Pearse Park,  Longford. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Two sides meeting in Navan on Saturday for what should be an exciting All-Ireland qualifier

Clare’s John Conlon and Barry Coughlan of Waterford at the Munster GAA Senior Hurling Championship Round 2 in   Ennis, Co Clare in May.  Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

PwC GAA-GPA Hurler of the Month award winner is playing a blinder in this championship

The Club Players Association will have an input into Croke Park’s master fixture plan for 2019. Photo: Inpho

The invitation followed a meeting with GAA director general Tom Ryan

Hawkeye is costly enough already for the GAA and is more important than goal-line technology in the long run. Photo: Inpho

It must be realised that installing high-tech systems is subject to cost-benefit analysis

Brendan Maher of Tipperary:  “I wouldn’t like to use it as an excuse  . . .It was poor decision-making; it wasn’t a physical thing that was the poor part of our game [against Waterford]. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

No team playing for a third weekend in a row has won a match in new championship format

Waterford’s Noel Connors and goalkeeper Stephen O’Keeffe argue with the umpire after a goal was incorrectly awarded to Tipperary at the Gaelic Grounds. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘At the end of the day mistakes happen. It was a bad mistake and there’s little doubt about that’

Waterford selector Dan Shanahan confronts the umpires after the game. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Jason Forde’s goal for Tipperary was clearly not over the line but little can be done now

Players pile up in the Dublin goal during the Leinster SHC clash with Offaly. Photo: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Dublin confirmed MacCarthy Cup status while Offaly will fall down a tier next year

Joe Canning: was in impressive form as he contributed a total of 1-12 in Galway’s win over Kilkenny at Pearse Stadium. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Galway braced for difficult assignment in Wexford

Current Offaly manager Kevin Martin in action against Kilkenny’s DJ Carey during the 2000 All-Ireland final – Offaly’s last appearance on hurling’s biggest stage. Photograph: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Offaly must win key clash with Dublin or they face relegation to the McDonagh Cup

Lee Keegan at Croke Park for the launch of SuperValu’s #BehindTheBall Campaign:  “Second-best doesn’t get you anywhere, unfortunately. We know that all too well over the past six or seven years.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘We need to get that in order because it is costing us dearly in big games,’ says defender

Bernard Brogan: “If it keeps going the way it’s going, I’m still aiming for August. That’s my carrot, that’s my goal.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Brogan hoping to be fully recovered from cruciate injury by August

Semple Stadium last Sunday for the clash between Tipperary and Cork. Attendances are well on the way to proving a bonanza for the respective provincial councils. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Round-robin games making professional demands of amateur players and panels

Clare’s Shane O’Donnell and Barry Coughlan of Waterford compete for the ball. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

The visitors were swept away by more misfortune and their improving opponents

Offaly and Wexford do battle at O’Connor Park on Saturday. Photograph: Inpho

The round-robin series continues this weekend in both Munster and Leinster

Lee Chin: the Wexford hurler  wants to devote himself full-time to the game, says Owens. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Ted Owens is chair of the new fund-raising body for all Cork GAA teams

TJ Reid: “Eoghan O’Donnell [Dublin] did a fabulous job and hurled very well but his concentration was on TJ . . .it is very difficult to play against that,” said Shefflin. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Kilkenny record-holder suggests playing his club-mate at full forward if necessary

Cork’s Alan Cadogan: his injury news  has been confirmed by sources in the county. Photograph: Inpho

Corner forward ruled out for foreseeable future with knee tendon injury

Limerick’s Gearóid Hegarty is challenged by Tipperary’s Ronan Maher during the Munster championship clash at the Gaelic Grounds. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Munster championship’s new format rewards method and consistency

Rena Buckley lifts the O’Duffy Cup in 2017. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Dual-star won a record 18 All-Ireland titles and 10 All Stars during a glittering career

Kilkenny beat Offaly by nine points in Nowlan Park. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Offaly improvement could cause problems, McGeeney happier on the national stage

Tipperary’s Donagh Maher goes up with Limerick’s Aaron Gillane at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Limerick and Cork get off to winning start while Monaghan dethrone Tyrone in Omagh

Tipperary’s Dan McCormack claims a high ball during their Munster SHC clash. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

John Kiely’s improving side blitz favourites in the last 10 minutes at the Gaelic Grounds

Tipperary’s defensive limitations ensure Ronan Maher isn’t going anywhere beyond centre back. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Cork, Wexford and Kilkenny favourites to register victories at home

If Dublin as expected win Leinster they will  they will have two home matches in the football round-robin, as opposed to one for the other counties

The GAA are prioritising attendances over competitive fairness – why does it continue?

  Tom Flynn of Galway and Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea during Sunday’s  Connacht  Football Championship quarter-final in  MacHale Park, Castlebar. Photograph:  Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Mayo waiting on further scan results to evaluate injury sustained by Tom Parsons

Wicklow are frustrated that they can’t play their home quarter-final against Dublin in Aughrim. Photograph: Inpho

Seán Moran and Ian O’Riordan take a look back at the weekend’s big talking points

Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton lifts Sam Maguire after beating Mayo in the All Ireland senior football championship final at Croke Park, Dublin, last year. Photograph:   Dara Mac Donaill

All you need to know about new format that begins three-year trial this summer

Clare’s Podge Collins and Shane Enright of Kerry. Photograph: Inpho/Ryan Byrne

Seán Moran’s guide to the challenge from the south

Dublin’s Cian O’Sullivan. Manager Jim Gavin eyes up becoming only the fourth team to win four-in-a-row. Photograph: Inpho/Tommy Dickson

Can anyone threaten Dublin? Seán Moran’s guide to the challenge from the east

Mayo’s Aiden O’Shea  with Johnny Heaney, Sean Kelly, Declan Kyne and Barry McHugh of Galway during their   Division One clash at Pearse Stadium, Galway, in February. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Mayo are traditional slow starters, and will be without talisman Lee Keegan

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody: Kilkenny will be looking to do a professional job against Dublin. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

GAA previews: Laois won’t let their chance slip; Carlow’s morale will see them through

Meath’s James McEntee and  Longford’s Dessie Reynolds during an  O’Byrne Cup semi-final in Navan in January. The teams were eventually separated by  a shoot-out. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

All-Ireland qualifiers must be decided on the day

James Horan of Mayo is tackled by Ray Silke of Galway as the two counties meet in May 1998. File photograph: Keith Heneghan/Inpho

Sunday's Connacht tie between Mayo and Galway brings back echoes of 20 years ago

PJ Delaney of Kilkenny chased by Ruairi Boland of Dublin in the 1998 Leinster Hurling Championship. Photograph: Vesna Djilas/Inpho

Dublin didn’t live up to the hype at Parnell Park in 1998, but they’re bullish about Sunday

Galway’s David Burke is at the heart of everything they do. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Sean Moran breaks down each county ahead of the Munster and Leinster round-robins

Brian Cody: Kilkenny’s long-serving manager will be expecting to see his league-winning team back in the provincial final. Photograph: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Prospect of automatic relegation for one of the Leinster counties could cause unease

Michael Ryan:  the Tipperary boss has one-third of a team to come back and the forwards will be far stronger with Séamus Callanan, Noel McGrath and Dan McCormack. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

All teams will look forward to more matches as last year’s Top Four look to have slipped back

New York take to the field ahead of their  Connacht  championship match with   Sligo last year. Photograph: Andy Marlin/Inpho

New York brace for 20th crack at championship against a nervous Leitrim side

Jim Gavin: was used in his playing days to curbing his own natural game in order to service the greater  needs of the Dublin team. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The ultimate team player in his playing days, Dublin’s manager knows what winning takes

GAA director general Tom Ryan with GAA president John Horan at the media briefing in Croke Park. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Director general Tom Ryan says there will still be 45 live championship games on TV

GAA director general Tom Ryan: knows from his financial background the immense importance of getting the All-Ireland championships right. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Ryan’s emphasis on the imminent championship trial reflects reality of the challenge

Harry Ladd scores a goal for Lucan Sarsfields against Na Fianna in the Dublin SFC group stage last week.  Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Suggestions that distinct calendars would benefit club activities seen as impractical

Monaghan’s Jack McCarron with Ryan McCluskey of Fermanagh during last year’s Ulster SFC preliminary round. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Counties finding themselves in province’s preliminary round will be exempt for following two years

Former GAA presidents  Seán McCague and Joe Mc Donagh.  Photograph: David Sleator

Sean Moran: The association just couldn’t bring itself to make the first move on Rule 21

Kilkenny’s Cillian Buckley lifts the league trophy at Nowlan Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Defeat in Nowlan Park means Tipperary have now lost their last five league finals

 Tipperary’s Ger Browne and Kilkenny’s Cillian Buckley during the Division 1A  league clash at Nowlan Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Ryan’s team need to lay down a marker to an improving Kilkenny in Nowlan Park

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