Tuesday 21 May 2019

Eamonn Sweeney

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Ma;yo's Kevin McLoughlin celebrates Allianz League success and (inset) Salah and Firmino

Eamonn Sweeney: 'A Mayo All-Ireland and Liverpool title would be emotionally intense in a way seldom matched in sport' 

Springtime sport is seldom so satisfying as it was in the early hours of last Sunday evening when Mayo won the National League and a late goal kept Liverpool's title hopes alive. Viewed logically perhaps these victories shouldn't have seemed quite so special. Ahead of Mayo lies a whole championship summer by the end of which the identity of the league champions is usually all but forgotten. The...

Donegal and Tyrone supporters await the start of their Super 8 match in Ballybofey last August. Photo: Oliver McVeigh

Eamonn Sweeney: 'Thinking that the public can be GAA-splained into liking gaelic football shows contempt for the national intelligence' 

The Super 8 is a flop. I knew that and you knew that and now the GAA hierarchy can no longer deny it. This column pointed out the pointlessness of the new football championship system from the moment it was mooted. No outstanding capacity for insight was required. There was obviously not a sufficient number of top-class teams to justify the format, its round robin nature would dissipate...

Tonight the Patriots and the Rams get down to what it’s all about in Georgia. Photo: Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

Eamonn Sweeney: 'Super night to be a young pretender' 

It's showdown time tonight in Atlanta. Between experience and youth, achievement and promise, the old master and the young prodigy. We've seen this one before. It's Fast Eddie Felson going up against Minnesota Fats in The Hustler, the Cincinnati Kid trying to prove himself against Lancey Howard, hungry upstarts pursuing Gregory Peck as Jimmy Ringo in The Gunfighter and John Wayne as JT Books in The Shootist. There's a compelling quality about these oedipal battles which makes them a recurring theme in American culture.

The Ireland team celebrate with their medals after the women's hockey World Cup final. Photo: Sportsfile

Eamonn Sweeney's A to Z in a remarkable year of sport 

A is for all-conquering Leinster who swept aside all opposition in the Champions Cup. The abiding memories of the campaign may be of sparkling attacking rugby but victory was founded on a mean defence which conceded just over 15 points a game. The quarter-final win over Saracens was perhaps Leinster's most significant, the semi-final destruction of Scarlets saw them at their most spectacular and in the final against Racing they proved they could grind out results when things weren't going for them. No-one was better than James Ryan, who this time last year wasn't even starting for Leinster.

Kosovo’s Arber Zeneli celebrates the second of his three goals against Azerbaijan in the Nations League on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters

Eamonn Sweeney: 'Nations League reveals home truths' 

The Nations League was the competition no-one asked for and no-one was looking forward to. But it turned out to be exactly the competition we needed. The ramifications of the convoluted qualifying process might not be entirely clear, but who cared when England and Croatia were going at it hammer and tongs in the last ten minutes at Wembley, when Virgil van Dijk met Tonny Vilhena's cross on the volley in injury-time against Germany, and when Kosovo made history?

‘On The Seventh Day was launched by Eamon Dunphy, which was entirely fitting because I think you can divide Irish sports writing into Before Dunphy and After Dunphy’. He is pictured at the launch with Joe Brolly. Photo: David Conachy

Eamonn Sweeney: 'Who reads simply to have their prejudices confirmed? You can do that for yourself' 

Here are five things I learned on Wednesday night. Joe Brolly is taller than you'd think. Eamon Dunphy really hates the word 'lachrymose'. Neil Francis has a low opinion of my abilities as an NFL tipster. I'm aging a lot faster than some of the Dorian Grays of Irish journalism. And there has been an awful lot of great writing in the sports pages of the Sunday Independent over the last 30 years.