Darragh Ó Sé on the sudden darlings of Donegal; Shane Lowry heads into Open season

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Lieke Martens of the Netherlands celebrates with her teammates after scoring a late penalty to send them through to the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup at the expense of Japan. Photo: Eddy Lemaistre/EPA

Lieke Martens of the Netherlands celebrates with her teammates after scoring a late penalty to send them through to the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup at the expense of Japan. Photo: Eddy Lemaistre/EPA

As Dublin’s march towards another Leinster title without even breaking a sweat came to an inevitable conclusion and, with it, the thought for many that a fifth All-Ireland in a row could be claimed almost as easily, the country outside the capital county continues to search for a team that can put it up to Jim Gavin’s men. For many that county is Donegal and this morning Darragh Ó Sé writes that they must be rolling their eyes up in the northern county at the thought of the country being in love with them again given that, not so long ago, they were the team supposedly destroying football. “I remember writing a column back then praising them and getting absolutely pilloried for it. That’ll tell you how unpopular they were – people were so annoyed at Donegal, they were annoyed at me!” he writes. Meanwhile, Seán Moran writes that Dublin have always had the advantages pretty much from the earliest days of the GAA so what has changed? In hurling the Leinster final between Kilkenny and Wexford takes centre stage in Croke Park this week with former Kilkenny star Richie Power expecting another bruising battle. The pair played out a draw last Saturday week in what was a particularly physical encounter and Power expects more of the same this weekend.

On to golf and with the run of the Irish Open, Scottish Open and Open Championship almost upon us, Shane Lowry says that he is happy to keep rolling with his new, more carefree attitude on the course. The Offalyman has been in good form of late and hopes that Lahinch, or even Royal Portrush, might be the scene of a second win this season after he claimed the Abu Dhabi Championship in January. “Whereas 12 months ago you have a bad round, I’d be on the range afterwards, beating balls, trying to find something. Because you are always trying to find something when you are not going great,” he said.

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