Mary Hannigan’s A to Z of the sporting year

Unprecedented international success in rugby, athletics and hockey

 Cian Lynch and his Limerick team-mates celebrate their All-Ireland win over Galway at Croke park in August. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cian Lynch and his Limerick team-mates celebrate their All-Ireland win over Galway at Croke park in August. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

All Blacks

We waited 111 years for Ireland’s first victory over New Zealand, now we have two in two years. It’s becoming a habit. “As of now Ireland are the number one team in the world, so that result makes them favourites for the World Cup,” said a, eh, generous Steve Hansen after the game. No pressure, then.

Bomber

Eoin Liston took a flight from Cardiff to Cork with a bunch of pals, one of whom tried to attract his attention by hollering “BOMBER!” Never a good idea on a plane. An alarmed air hostess had a word with the pilot. It was only when they Googled the Kerry legend’s nickname that they felt safe to continue the flight.

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