September Road: A curious meeting of Paul Walsh and Ronaldinho

Limerick skipper Declan Hannon sets the record straight as he emulates Christy Ring

Joga Bonito for Paul Walsh

While the GAA news cycle in the last few days was dominated by hurling, the most surreal story doing the rounds was a football one from left-field - Kerry's former underage star Paul Walsh playing keepy-uppies with none other than Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldinho.

Yes, you read that correctly. A video emerged online of the pair, apparently at Ronaldinho's mansion in Rio de Janeiro, while Walsh was also photographed presenting the former Brazil captain with a Kerry jersey in what may well be the first ever meeting of a Ballon D'Or winner and a Minor Footballer of the Year.

How it came about, nobody seems to know. The rumour on social media is that Brosna’s Walsh somehow became friendly with the Brazilian’s brother online and was invited to visit. Others have speculated that it is, in fact, a lookalike although if it is a prank, it’s exceptionally well-staged.

Kerry GAA, never slow to spot an opening, capitalised when they tweeted that Walsh should suggest Ronnie buy a ticket for their upcoming house draw. Yerra, as the marketing men say, always be closing . . .


Word of Mouth

"The last time Cork were All-Ireland champions, YouTube was only invented, Joe. Imagine that." - Off The Ball's hurling analyst Tommy Walsh put the Rebels' famine in context before throw-in on Sunday.

By the Numbers

14 - Players who have won All-Ireland senior football and hurling medals on the field of play. With dual stars an endangered species, Cork's Eoin Cadogan, who won his football medal in 2010, may be the last to come close.

Hannon sets the record straight

Limerick captain Declan Hannon wasted no time correcting the record after GAA president Larry McCarthy wrongly introduced the Treaty man as a member of the Na Piarsaigh club.

McCarthy stated that he was “unable” to present the cup, due to Covid reasons presumably, but invited Hannon to accept it.

"Just to clarify," Hannon began, as soon as he took to the microphone, "I'm from Adare anyway!"

Hannon became only the second man after Christy Ring to lift the Liam MacCarthy as captain three times and he could well break that record. Ring was 34 when completing the feat in 1954; Hannon will not turn 29 until November.

Game changer for anoraks

For Gaelic games anoraks out there, the @GAA_stats Twitter account is a game-changer.

The account highlighted some of the final records broken on Sunday. Aside from the obvious, Limerick’s half-time total of 3-18 (to put that in perspective, they won the 2018 final scoring 3-16 in total) easily eclipsed the previous record by a single team in one half of an All-Ireland final (Kilkenny’s 2-16 in 2008).

Limerick raised their 20th white flag in the 37th minute, the quickest on record. And yesterday was also only the third final with four goals scored in the first half and none in the second, following 1974 and 1959.

No treble for the Rebels

So, Cork failed to complete the hurling ‘treble’ of minor, Under-20 (formerly Under-21) and senior All-Irelands, which they have done once (1970). This feat had previously been achieved just four times in total, with Kilkenny also managing it in 1975, 2003 and 2008.

The Cats can point to winning the Intermediate All-Ireland in 2008 as well to make a quadruple that year, although, if we were to nit-pick (which wouldn’t be like the Rebel supporters!) Cork did win the camogie All-Ireland in 1970.