Jackie Tyrrell on oblivion of losing a semi-final; Ireland have a real chance at Lord’s

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Ireland’s Andy Balbirnie catches the ball to take the wicket of England’s Chris Woakes on the second day of Ireland and England’s first Test match at Lord’s. Photo: Glyn Kirk/Getty Images

Ireland’s Andy Balbirnie catches the ball to take the wicket of England’s Chris Woakes on the second day of Ireland and England’s first Test match at Lord’s. Photo: Glyn Kirk/Getty Images

This weekend sees the All-Ireland SHC semi-finals take centre stage as Limerick meet Kilkenny and Wexford take on Tipperary at Croke Park. It’s hard to believe we’re down to the last four already after a championship which has flown by but this Jackie Tyrrell writes that, as a player, he would rather have lost in a qualifier than an All-Ireland semi final. “You have earned nothing yet. Nobody owes you a place in an All-Ireland final and everything you’ve done up to that point counts for nothing,” he writes. On Sunday Wexford will hope that their dream year so far will not count for nothing and former hurler of the year Larry O’Gorman believes they can go all the way and fulfill their potential. “Davy has brought the boys to a new level with the new skilful game and a plan to go with it but he has matched that with the traditional hard work and never-say-die attitude, something we haven’t always had in recent years, even under Davy,” he told Seán Moran yesterday.

On to cricket and a brilliant fightback from Ireland amidst thunderstorms at Lord’s yesterday has left the four-day Test against England in the balance at the halfway point. At close of play England were 303-9 after they initially started well with night watchman Jack Leach racking up 92 before Ireland’s bowlers began to get the visitors and Test cricket novices back on track. With one wicket remaining England lead by 181 runs going into today’s play. Theresa May was among those watching from the stands yesterday. She was joined by Tory cabinet evictees Greg Clark, David Gauke, Gavin Barwell as they watched the bloody-minded Leach frustrate Ireland over the course of hours.

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