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 before half-time 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

Cian Lynch of Limerick in action against Clare’s Seadna Morey of Clare  at the Gaelic Grounds. A Limerick win in Thurles would secure their place in the Munster final. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

All eight teams still have a chance of making All-Ireland championship knock-out stages

TJ Reid celebrates one of his two goals against Galway at Nowlan Park. Reid is responsible for 56.8 per cent of Kilkenny’s scores so far in the championship. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Cats in need of another magical display from the gifted Ballyhale stalwart in Wexford

Galway’s Conor Whelan and Kilkenny’s Huw Lawlor  in their Leinster  SFC Round 4 match in Nowlan Park on Sunday. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Four teams chase three spots, and you’ll need a calculator to work out all the permutations

Stephen Cluxton leads out the Dublin team on his 100th Leinster Championship appearance, at Croke Park on Sunday.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Tipping Point: Fans know how it will end – no wonder they don’t bother their barney to go

Dublin’s  Stephen Cluxton saves a shot from Keith Cribbin of Kildare during the Leinster semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Goalkeeper makes 100th championship appearance as Mannion and Costello lead rout

Joe Canning: has graced the All-Ireland final on four occasions since Galway entered the Leinster championship, with the Tribesmen triumphant in 2017.  Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Connacht county have proved very competitive both at provincial and All-Ireland level

Tyrone’s Matthew Donnelly will be in action against Donegal in the Ulster SFC semi-final at Clones on Saturday. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho

Leinster and Ulster semi-finals down for decision and the first of qualifiers

Kilkenny’s Adrian Mullen in action against Carlow. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Kilkenny’s 100% record will be tested by Galway at Nowlan Park on Sunday

Tipperary’s Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher scores his side’s third goal despite the efforts of Clare goalkeeper Donal Tuohy. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Another impressive away victory suggests Tipp are operating on a different level to their rivals

Tipperary’s Séamus Callanan scores his side’s second goal past Clare goalkeeper  Donal Tuohy during the Munster SHC round-robin game at Cusack Park in Ennis. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Liam Sheedy's side are putting up totals not seen so far in the new format

Clare’s Podge Collins  at Centra’s launch of the GAA All Ireland Hurling Championship. “I basically am playing as a fan now. That’s the best way to enjoy it.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Now 27, the Banner forward has a mature perspective on the game and his place in it

Lee Keegan rues a missed chance. Keegan,   Diarmuid O’Connor and Kevin McLoughlin all missed routine opportunities – the exact  sort you never see a Dublin player miss. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Horan didn’t come back to preside over a team showing such familiar shortcomings

Longford’s Michael Quinn scores his team’s third goal against Kildare. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

They were level on eight occasions, including at the end of normal time and extra-time

Wexford’s Liam Óg McGovern scores a point against Kilkenny in their 1-19 to 1-12 win in the Hurling League Division 1A at Wexford Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Centre-forward grateful to be playing once again after long recovery from cruciate tear

The bad gael loves nothing more than to go to a game on a Sunday in the summer. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The po-faced reverence for GAA in Irish society drives the bad gael up the walls

Limerick’s Peter Casey and Niall O’Leary of Cork in their Munster GAA Senior Hurling Championship round 2 clash at Gaelic Grounds, Limerick, on Sunday.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

All-Ireland champions left looking ordinary after Cork catapult themselves back in the mix

Dublin’s Seán Moran celebrates scoring a late goal in the Leinster SHC match against Wexford at Parnell Park. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Dublin get share of the spoils against Wexford at Parnell Park thanks to late goal

Gary O’Donnell and the Galway team arrive at McGovern Park, Ruislip,  to face London in the Connacht quarter-final. They are unlikely to be tested by Sligo. Photograph: Inpho

Ulster and Connacht SFC: Monaghan haven't lost in championship in Breffni in 32 years

Dublin’s David Treacy dejected after losing to Kilkenny in Nowlan Park. He missed three frees at key points in the match. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

David Treacy missed three frees against Kilkenny and was punished ruthlessly

Jurgen Klopp,  Liverpool manager: ‘This is impossible. Except you guys are you.’ Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty

Tipping Point: Irish people making out they hate the other club always feels like a pose

Waterford’s Shane Fives and Shane O’Donnell of Clare: John Conlon’s early goal for Clare was a thumb on the scale that Waterford couldn’t outweigh. Photograph: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Summer has already seen more away wins in one afternoon than the whole of 2018

Waterford’s Shane Fives and Shane O’Donnell of Clare. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

First Walsh Park championship match in 16 years sees doolally finish but no home win

Kilkenny’s Padraig Walsh and Conor McDonald of Wexford during last year’s Leinster Championship. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Teams who’d to play their four matches back to back had a desperate record

Tipperary’s Michael Quinlivan. Tipperary take on Limerick in Semple Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Inpho

It’s difficult to see Derry troubling a Tyrone side who dwell in a different realm these days

Joanne Cantwell: the new host of RTÉ’s long-running GAA programme The Sunday Game. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Experienced broadcaster relishes the pressure that comes with iconic sports show

Paul Mannion in action during the 2018 Leinster Final against Laois at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The road to being Dublin’s most dangerous forward has never been a straight one

Rory O’Carroll: three-time All-Ireland winner is back in the Dublin squad for the championship. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Kilkenny goalkeeper Murphy ruled out for at least the provincial championship

Paul Flynn lifting the Sam Maguire in 2017. He  won six All-Ireland medals during a glorious era for the county. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Four-time All Star brought the very best version of himself to Dublin during a glorious era

Leona and Lisa Maguire recently signed a sponsorship deal with wealth management provider, Davy. Photograph: Getty Images

Co Cavan twins are as close as ever as they look to reach the elite of the women’s game

Sport Ireland chief executive John Treacy and chairman Kieran Mulvey. Photograph:   Nick Bradshaw

Deloitte’s revelation over association’s accounts moves things on to a new plane

Oisin Kiernan: “Getting the all-clear was one thing but really what you want is to be back playing football.”Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Cavan county player on surviving testicular cancer, going to the GP and optimism

FAI executive vice-president John Delaney arrives at Leinster House with members of the Football Association of Ireland delegation.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Former CEO unwilling to answer questions on €100k loan “either directly or indirectly”

Laois line up for the Leinster final against Dublin at Croke Park. It was their first appearance in the decider in 12 years. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Significant progress over the last 18 months has resulted in back-to-back promotions

FAI executive vice-president John Delaney will go in front of the Oireachtas committee next week. Photo: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

Sport Ireland CEO was asked four times by Imelda Munster if he has confidence in FAI

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s current win rate is unsustainable. Photograph: Getty Images

Manager given job by reeling off a streak of results we know not to be his true measure

Waterford ’s Páraic Fanning after his side’s victory over Galway in the league semi-final at Nowlan Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Taking over from Derek McGrath could have been difficult but transition has been seamless

Ailish Considine in action against the Kangaroos earlier this month. The AFLW grand final is on Sunday and her club, the Adelaide Crows, are hefty favourites. Photograph: Michael Willson/AFL Media

Adelaide Crows’ Irish player avoids ban that could have meant missing AFLW grand final

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy and assistant coach Terry Connor during the Euro 2020 qualifying win over Georgia. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

New Ireland manager makes it two wins from two thanks to Hourihane free kick

Galway’s Johnny Coen and  Kevin Moran of Waterford in the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 semi-final at Nowlan Park,  Co Kilkenny. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Counties meet for first time in hurling league final; Mayo and Kerry meet in football final

Galway’s Joe Canning is hit hard by Kevin Moran, forcing him to leave the pitch on  a stretcher. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Galway pay the price for wide count but Joe Canning injury is most worrying of all

Republic of Ireland fans display a banner critical of former FAI CEO John Delaney at the Republic of Ireland’s game against Gibraltar at the Victoria Stadium. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

There is no need for the top administrative functionary in the FAI to be so high-profile

Dublin’s Oisín O’Rorke in action against Tipperary’s James Barry. The Dublin forward has been a revelation during the league. Photograph: Tom O’Hanlon/Inpho

Mattie Kenny will be pleased by his side’s solid progress to the league semi-final

Cavan’s Gerard Smith moves in to tackle Monaghan’s Ryan McAnespie at Clones last Sunday. Photograph: John McVitty/Inpho

Kerry, Mayo, Galway and Tyrone still in with a chance of making Division One final

Joe Schmidt: Everyone you talk to about him calls him variations on the same thing – a rugby nerd, an obsessive, someone who lives the game to an extreme degree. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

This Six Nations has seen an Ireland side so unlike the ones that have gone before

Corofin players celebrate their All-Ireland senior club final victory over Dr Crokes at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Football champions outclass Dr Crokes while Shamrocks crush hopes of St Thomas

Ballyhale Shamrocks players celebrate after their AIB All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship Final victory over St Thomas’ at Croke Park. Photograph:  Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Ballyhale show off their ability to keep regenerating as they put St Thomas’ to the sword

Donegal’s Jamie Brennan with Fermanagh’s Sean Quigley in their Allianz Football League Division 2 match at O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny, Co Donegal in February.  Photograph: Evan Logan/Inpho

Rory Gallagher’s side unfairly criticised for getting behind the ball, says former player

Are you race ready for Cheltenham? Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

There is simply no week in sport that offers richer soil in which to dig for gripping yarns

Wexford’s Liam Ryan with Liam Blanchfield of Kilkenny as referee Alan Kelly falls to the ground. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Meaningless encounter between Cork and Kilkenny could prove fruitful for both

Wexford’s Liam Óg McGovern scores a point against Kilkenny. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

It means they have turned over big leads now against both Kilkenny and Tipperary

Ted Walsh: “There’s no such thing as us against them. It’s my horse against the others, and where they come from or go home to doesn’t enter into it.” Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Money has changed everything about Irish fortunes at Cheltenham since a winless 1989

The Ireland squad stand together for Ireland’s Call before the match against France in the 2007 Rugby World Cup on September 21st,  which the French won 25-3. Photograph:  Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Ireland have more depth and better coach now – but that doesn’t make victory a given

Wexford’s Liam Og McGovern on the pitch after their game with Kilkenny was called off. Photo: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Two Division 1A games fell victim to the weather while all football fixtures held on

Meath’s Cillian O’Sullivan in action against Kildare in the Leinster GAA SFC semi-final at  O’Connor Park, Tullamore in June 2017. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘We’ve been in Division Two for a long time but you’re starting to see the odd little spark’

Cian O’Sullivan in action against Mayo: he is one of only three players – James McCarthy and Stephen Cluxton are the others – to have started all seven of Dublin’s All-Ireland finals across the decade (including the 2016 replay). Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Vastly experienced and decorated defender ready for another busy summer campaign

Louth’s  Conor Grimes is challenged by Martin Johnson of Antrim in April 2016.  Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Football team gone from second-lowest scorers to highest scorers in 12 months

Limerick manager John Kiely: expecting his side to get back to full strength after injuries. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

With Limerick already through, five teams will sort out who goes where in quarter-finals

Mayo’s Brian Reape on his way to scoring a goal in the Allianz Football League Division 1 match against Roscommon at  MacHale Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Kerry face tough assignment in Galway as they seek to extend their 100 per cent record

Mayo have started the league well but they have failed to beat Jim Gavin’s Dublin in their 13 meetings since 2013

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