Sport Gaelic Football

Sunday 22 October 2017

Liam and Sam

Galway's trimming by Mayo in the Connacht quarter-final last month dispatched them into the opening round of the All-Ireland qualifiers for the first time, leaving Kerry as the only county never to have found themselves at the initial entry level.

Galway's trimming by Mayo in the Connacht quarter-final last month dispatched them into the opening round of the All-Ireland qualifiers for the first time, leaving Kerry as the only county never to have found themselves at the initial entry level.

Kerry have entered round two on three occasions after losing a Munster semi-final to Cork, but still don't know what's like to be in the first round and facing seven games for an All-Ireland win.

For Kerry or Cork to be in the first round, they have to be either paired against each in the Munster quarter-final which, oddly enough, doesn't happen or else lose a quarter-final to one of the other four. That's a rare occurrence, although it did happen in 2003 when Cork lost to Limerick. Cork later lost a round 1 qualifier to Roscommon. Anyway, we suspect that Kerry will remain in what's now a club-of-one for a long time.

HOME AT LAST FOR OFFALY

Offaly hurlers may be thankful for small mercies, having drawn Waterford at home in the first round of the All-Ireland qualifiers, but surely it was the least they might have expected from the gods.

Two years ago, they were drawn away to Cork and it was the same last year. They lost on both occasions.

Waterford were the highest ranked of the opponents that Offaly could have drawn last Monday and, sure enough, they got them! Mind you, after Offaly's brave shot against Kilkenny last Sunday, Waterford won't fancy the trip to Tullamore on Saturday week.

QUIRKEY WAY TO PROTEST

They say you'll never change a referee's mind once he has made a decision, but former Kerry midfielder Michael Quirke gave it a shot anyway – but through demonstration rather than verbals.

Quirke's Kerins O'Rahillys were in action against Mike Frank Russell's Laune Rangers in the county championship and, when the pair collided, Russell dropped rather easily to win a free.

Quirke wasn't happy and took a tumble of his own to demonstrate his displeasure. He was even unhappier at the final whistle, when his side were edged out by a point. What makes Quirke's tumble even better is, it's up online – youtube.com/watch?v=vp2fe1HfAI4

NUMBER OF THE WEEK

14 The number of the Munster-winning U-21 side Cork have included in their panel for Sunday's Munster JFC clash with Clare – showing just how seriously they take the grade.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"I remember coaching a Polish kid last year and he couldn't understand how they didn't have Gaelic football in Poland. He said, this is the best game ever, it's way better than soccer."

– London midfielder and GAA coach Mark Gottsche on spreading the gospel in the English capital.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

Dónal Óg Cusack @DonalOgC

Average beating received by Ulster minor teams since 1/4 finals introduced is 18 points...hard to see how that is any good... – Former Cork 'keeper in typically thoughtful mood after suggesting an all-Ulster team might be more competitive and help to raise standards in the Liam MacCarthy Cup .

Irish Independent

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