Amateur players are a credit to their sports
This past weekend, thousands of football fans will have once again begun a season of flying and ferrying over and back to England and Scotland to catch their favourite teams in action. Call it dedication or obsession, Irish fans' passion for British football goes back decades and lingers now even when we have few home-grown stars playing for top teams.
Of course, there was an exception to the rule at the weekend when a Burnley side featuring a trio of Dubliners, Stephen Ward, Robbie Brady and Jeff Hendrick, beat Premier League champions Chelsea. Such occasions where Irish players feature so prominently on 'Match of the Day' coverage of the billionaire league are rare now.
However, it's hard to argue anyone who traversed the Irish Sea will have seen anything of the quality on display at Croke Park yesterday. Waterford, for so long the nearly men of hurling, clinically despatched Cork in the second-half of the All-Ireland semi-final to set up a terrific final meeting with Galway in three weeks' time.