Jackie Tyrrell: We’ve got the championship back. But where’s the physicality?

In the eerie quietness of the stadium, the players will have to generate their own intensity

Clare’s Tony Kelly and Gearóid Hegarty of Limerick in the Munster GAA Senior Hurling Championship quarter-final at Semple Stadium last Sunday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Clare’s Tony Kelly and Gearóid Hegarty of Limerick in the Munster GAA Senior Hurling Championship quarter-final at Semple Stadium last Sunday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

As I watched the NFL on Sunday evening and as players from the Chiefs and Broncos bounced off each other in the snowy Denver stadium, the penny dropped with me. My weekend had been all about the start of the hurling championship, the thing I’d been waiting on for 14 months. Through all that time, I never thought I’d have to wait until I was sitting on my couch on the Sunday night to see some physicality.

The whole thing had been bugging me since the final whistle in the Clare v Limerick game. On the one hand, I was questioning myself, questioning the sort of championship that we might be in for. It was a weird, empty feeling. Like, is this it? Is this what the GAA moved mountains for?

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