Reducing age of Mayo group will be difficult task for Horan
It wasn't where Mayo or Kerry wanted to be this autumn, but then plans don't always work out as expected.
It wasn't where Mayo or Kerry wanted to be this autumn, but then plans don't always work out as expected.
The first fixture-cramming controversy of the county final/ provincial championship season is heading Wicklow's way after last Sunday's Rathnew-St Patrick's senior football final finished level.
Wicklow are leading a campaign for the introduction of a Tier 2 football championship for 16 counties, which would spell the end of the current format where all counties beaten in the...
A second-tier football championship is back on the agenda and now the big question is whether it can be packaged neatly enough to convince counties...
Cormac Costello was in the background in the RTÉ studios waiting to discuss the Leinster football championship draw as Emlyn Mulligan offered a...
If Ireland's attempt to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup been successful last year, important-looking types with clipboards and drawings would now be striding purposefully around Pearse Stadium, Galway, stopping off at various points to consult the plans.
Much has changed for Offaly hurling since Joachim Kelly and his pioneering colleagues launched the county on the Leinster and All-Ireland glory trails in the early 1980s, but his drive and passion for the game remains as intense as ever.
The contrast is as unmistakable as it is interesting. Mayo go back to the future as they appoint James Horan for a second term while Kerry place their trust in a man whose inter-county management experience is confined to minor level.
Next year's Leinster hurling final may be played on a Saturday evening to avoid a clash with the Munster final.
Shane Walsh liked much of what he heard during the week. Open play, more contests for possession, chances to run, accurate kicking and high fielding fit neatly with the Galway man's philosophy of how football should be played.
Kevin McStay may well have broken the record for the length of his resignation announcement, but it's what he didn't say in his 1,377-word statement...
In September 1981, the GAA had two concerns over Gaelic football: All-Ireland monopoly by Kerry and rules that weren't maximising the game's...
Tyrone spared no effort to prevent Dublin entering the ultra-exclusive four-in-a-row club but had neither the manpower nor the know-how to secure the doors.
The week before the 2009 All-Ireland hurling final, Henry Shefflin was hit by a personal crisis. The countdown to Kilkenny's attempt to become the...
Mick O'Dwyer, the only man to lead a team to four successive All-Ireland football titles over the past...
Both camps experienced a sense of regret in the immediate aftermath, but when they carry out a detailed debrief as part of the plans for the replay they will realise that lining up a second helping was actually a good day's work.
Scotstown won the Monaghan senior football title last Sunday, a success which came as no big surprise since they had also won the previous three.
New Offaly football manager John Maughan has warned that unless rule changes are implemented as a matter of urgency, attendances will plummet.
Galway have been handed home advantage in their two opening games against Carlow and Wexford in next year's Leinster hurling championship round-robin.
Let the inequality begin. Even allowing for the playing numbers and resource imbalances between counties, the draw for the All-Ireland football championships should be keenly anticipated.
Restricting the handpass to three in one movement and insisting on kick-outs passing the 45-metre line are the most likely rule changes to be introduced in football from the suite of measures proposed by the GAA's Playing Rules Committee.
Calls for a second referee in Gaelic football are growing following proposals to introduce major changes to the playing rules.
They may not have been enough to send fearful gusts swirling through the Croke Park corridors, but recent comments from two Dublin footballers certainly merit an entry in the 'issues of concern' file.
Dublin 28, Kerry 15. If the number of games played by the two counties in accumulating their All-Ireland four-in-a-row triumphs is regarded as an important criteria in deciding which is the better team, then it's advantage Dublin.
Kevin McStay has used his departure as Roscommon manager to put pressure on Croke Park to provide smaller GAA counties with more financial support.
Something doesn't quite add up in the latest Mayo controversy. In fact, quite a few figures are missing, making it all but impossible to complete an equation which seemed to be coming together a few weeks ago when Stephen Rochford indicated his intention to continue for a fourth season.
Major rule changes could be on the way, particularly in football, amid growing discontent over the direction the game has taken.
John Kiely diagnosed the problem as an energy deficit, possibly caused by playing three games in 15 days.
Mattie Kenny, who led Dublin champions Cuala to the last two All-Ireland senior club hurling titles, could be on his way to Waterford as Derek McGrath's replacement.
Despite winning the All-Ireland title, Limerick's hurlers will miss out on a glamour trip to Australia in November.
GAA chiefs in Ulster and Antrim insist that the redevelopment of Casement Park will go ahead despite fresh uncertainty over planning permission. However, they acknowledge that they have no idea when work on the 34,500-capacity stadium will commence.
It should be the pride of Antrim and Ulster GAA, but instead Casement Park is a weed-infested abandoned ruin, a west Belfast eyesore with a proud past, an embarrassing present and an uncertain future.
Everyone loves hurling now. It's the big summer hit, drawing in people who previously couldn't tell the difference between a hurl and a cricket bat.
It's difficult to know which was the more irritating, Áras an Uachtaráin choosing hurling final day to provide details of President Michael D Higgins' busy sporting life or actor Chris O'Dowd peddling paddywhackery to an American audience.
Would it all have been very different if the freak spin of a sliotar hadn't ended Pat Hartigan's career on mid-summer's day 1979?
John Kiely described it as "the biggest result we have had to date", before quickly wrapping the success in the context of a cold March day.
GAA referees' chief Willie Barrett has insisted that there is no policy of ignoring fouls in hurling in a bid to build on the game's treasured reputation as a free-flowing spectacle.
Gearóid McInerney is winning the battle to be ready for Sunday's All-Ireland final but now Galway have worries over John Hanbury.
Sixty-seven games played, one remaining. And no, the All-Ireland football final is not the foregone conclusion popular opinion holds.
The last time Tyrone reached the All-Ireland final, they prevented Kerry from winning the three-in-a-row, an omen that should provide a rich source of encouragement as they begin planning for the showdown with Dublin next Sunday fortnight.
They won't speak publicly about winning four in a row, but it's in the background, teasing and tantalising the Dublin squad as they head for their first game of the championship without a safety harness attached.
Never in championship history have a team gone into the All-Ireland semi-final off such a confusing background as Galway take to Croke Park this evening.
Tyrone supporters may have been cursing the darkness after last year's All-Ireland semi-final, but Mickey Harte was already lighting a candle.
Fourteen counties have tried - several more than once - and all have failed.
I suspected from the handwriting that the contents might be hostile, a hunch that turned out to be well-founded.
Galway must remove the handcuffs and take on Dublin aggressively and systematically if they are to have any chance of derailing the four-in-a-row train on Saturday evening (5.0).
The GAA's system for appointing referees for All-Ireland finals will come under close scrutiny after stinging criticism from James McGrath as he announced that he was quitting for good after being overlooked for any role in the Galway-Limerick showdown on Sunday week.
In the run-up to the 2002 football final, Joe Kernan received dozens of letters and 'good luck' cards from people offering their best wishes to Armagh in their pursuit of a first All-Ireland title.
"We're not going to run the GAA by Twitter", said Paraic Duffy, the then GAA Director-General, when informed immediately after Congress last year that some managers and players had taken to social media to criticise the introduction of the 'Super 8' football format.
Galway's strange performance patterns throughout this summer will, no doubt, be analysed in minute detail before the All-Ireland final, not least by manager, Micheál Donoghue.
If doing things the hard way heightens the sense of achievement, Galway will be really buzzing today after providing yet another illustration of their propensity for living through the best and the worst of times in the same game.
EAMONN FITZMAURICE has made three alterations to his Kerry side as they battle for championship survival against Kildare in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney this evening (6.0).
Malachy O'Rourke passed a curious comment while venting his frustration over Monaghan's one-point defeat by Mayo in the opening round of the National Football League last January.
This is probably the strangest situation in which Kerry football has ever found itself.
If Micheál Donoghue were to absorb even a small amount of the analysis from the drawn game, his head would be spinning with details of shapes and sweepers, plays and puck-out strategies, plus a whole lot more modern-day jargon.
When Cian O'Neill was asked to reflect on the season after Kildare's defeat by Galway last Sunday week, he made it clear that while their championship ambitions were dead, their season was not.
Galway hurlers' two-in-a-row ambitions hinge on whether they bring more variation to their game in Sunday's semi-final replay with Clare, according to the last man to take the Liam MacCarthy Cup across the Shannon in successive seasons.
Ten counties are set to lose home advantage for one game in next year's Allianz Leagues, arising from breaches of the regulations on training camps and challenge games earlier in the season.
Saturday, August 18 - the eve of the All-Ireland hurling final - has been pencilled in for the football semi-final involving Dublin if the final round of Group 1 'Super 8' games result in deadlock between Kerry and Monaghan.
It was close to 9pm when I left Croke Park last Sunday evening, the stadium now empty except for a few other journalists completing their work and noisy seagulls finishing off the day's rich pickings.
The history of most successful teams can be traced back to a particular occasion when they delivered a performance which suggested they possessed that special quality required to advance from contenders to champions.
The Páirc Uí Chaoimh controversy is over but the implications have a long way to run yet. Indeed, they are quite profound for the GAA and there is a wider dimension too.
They won't admit it in Cork, lest they be accused of cockiness, but there's a special feeling tingling through the county.
By midday today, the controversy over the Liam Miller tribute game and Páirc Uí Chaoimh will be over, at least in as much as the GAA's Central Council will grant permission for it to go ahead there.
When Sean O'Connor scored a second goal late in the 2004 Munster hurling semi-final, nobody would have thought that 14 years later Limerick would still be waiting for their next goal against Cork in a championship game.
When Clare lost to Cork in the opening round of the Munster round-robin, their prospects of reaching the top three, which was required to stay in All-Ireland contention, didn't look especially promising.
Daithí Burke has emerged as an 11th-hour injury doubt for Galway's All-Ireland SHC semi-final clash with Clare at Croke Park today (5.0) after damaging his ankle in training earlier this week.
THE GAA is on Saturday expected to clear the way for the controversial Liam Miller tribute soccer game to go ahead in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, barring a late hitch.
It may not have appeared significant two years ago but it sure is now, having landed the GAA in a controversy that is as embarrassing as it was avoidable.
However they go about it, Kildare just cannot beat Galway, whose dominance over the Lilywhites extends back to 1985.
Kerry boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice has carried out major surgery to his defence by naming a completely new full-back line to face Monaghan in their make-or-break 'Super 8s' clash in Clones tomorrow.
When, after 12 years, Dublin finally have to play a championship game on the opposition's home ground, they certainly drew one of the shortest straws.
By the time the Monaghan-Kerry game starts in Clones tomorrow, it may be a straight knock-out test for Eamonn Fitzmaurice and his under-pressure squad.
It's the chance all Dublin's opposition have longed for since 2006 and has sent optimism levels soaring in Tyrone ahead of Saturday's 'Super 8s' round robin clash in Omagh.
Pressure is beginning to mount to review the dates for the All-Ireland senior hurling and football finals, which have been moved from their traditional September slots.
Stephen Cluxton will join fellow goalkeeper John O'Leary as Dublin's most 'capped' player in Saturday's clash with Tyrone.
Playing five major championship games on successive weekends is physically well within the range of modern-day inter-county players, but it does present psychological challenges which need to be carefully managed.
As ever, the wily old fox remained wary, sensing that something wasn't quite right about everyone telling each other that the fence around the hen-house would collapse under the first push.
Green and white decorated the Semple Stadium pitch a long time after this enthralling contest had finished yesterday, but then the wearers of the Treaty County colours had something special to savour.
Limerick hadn't beaten Kilkenny in the hurling championship since the 1973 All-Ireland final but the long wait is over after John Kiely's men held their nerve in the most dramatic circumstances in the closing minutes of thrilling quarter-final in Semple Stadium.
The inaugural 'Super 8s' All-Ireland football quarter-finals will attract total attendances of around 280,000 over the next three weekends, provided qualification for the semi-finals is still on the line going into the final round.
By the time Paddy McBrearty limped out of the Ulster final early in the second half, he had scored 19 points - 13 from play - in the championship.
A manager's work is never done. And just when he thinks he has a solid grasp of his responsibilities along comes a new challenge.
It may have been a routine Allianz League game on a bitterly cold afternoon, but victory meant a whole lot more to Galway than just another step up the Division 1 ladder.
The plot may be new but the cast is not. The first group in the changed All-Ireland quarter-final format features eight of the 11 counties who have reached this stage most frequently since the qualifier system was introduced in 2001.
Mick O'Dwyer is urging caution among all those who regard a Dublin-Kerry All-Ireland football final as a near-certainty.
Whether it was the lure of a guaranteed home game, a sense that the hankering for change needed to be indulged or the slick sales pitch, opposition to the 'Super 8s' proposal mustered little support, publicly at least..
When the hard questions were put, Galway had the right answers, but once they get around to analysing the entire performance they will have to address one particular conundrum.
A history-making day in Thurles on a number of fronts as Semple Stadium hosted the Leinster hurling final for the first time and Galway retained the title for the first time after withstanding a spirited comeback by Kilkenny.
Two distinct views, which are impossible to reconcile, have emerged around tomorrow's replay. One holds that Galway misfired last Sunday and will be much better this time, while the other offers Kilkenny's excellent record in replays as a pointer to who will join Cork as provincial winners in the All-Ireland semi-finals.
And then there were 12. Mayo are the most notable absentees as the football championship cull continues this weekend in order to complete the line-up for the 'Super 8s'. So how do the 12 contenders rank and what have their championship campaigns to date told us?
Donegal will learn today that nothing can be done to address their concerns over venue arrangements for the 'Super 8s' All-Ireland football quarter-finals, where Dublin are scheduled to play two of their three games in Croke Park.
If past trends prove reliable, only one of the four beaten provincial football finalists will qualify for the inaugural 'Super 8' All-Ireland quarter-finals, which begin on the weekend after next.
As Donegal county board officers prepare to meet senior Croke Park officials today to discuss their objections to Dublin having two 'Super 8' games in Croke Park, the unmistakeable irony of their position can hardly be lost on them or the rest of the GAA world.
It really is a time of great oddities in the country, highlighted, perhaps most of all, by the inexplicable contradiction of a water shortage in spring due to a short cold snap and a few months later because of a dry spell.
The outpourings of goodwill towards the Mayo football squad may be offered in a spirit of generosity and respect, but they are coming across as mawkish and too sweet to be wholesome.
For reasons that were neither clear nor logical, Kilkenny were 5/2 outsiders for yesterday's game, odds that looked seriously imbalanced before throw-in and even more so as a ferocious battle waged in the searing sun in Croke Park.
Where the rest of the season takes them remains to be seen but, as of now, Kilkenny are the most successful hurling team in the country so far this year.
Every county may have had four games in Munster for the first time but, even then, it came down to fine margins to decide who reached the final and who took third place, which also carried a ticket to the All-Ireland preliminary quarter-finals.
In the 20 seasons Brian Cody has been in charge of Kilkenny, they have never lost successive championship games to any county.
After a week that was dominated by a heated row off the pitch, now the intense temperatures on the field could have a major bearing on the championship programme this weekend.
From the moment Cian O'Neill appeared on RTé television's evening news on Monday to declare that there would be no game unless the GAA rescinded its decision to fix Kildare v Mayo for Croke Park, the pressure tanks began to fill rapidly across a number of areas.
A year ago, Leitrim lost a qualifier tie to Carlow and then looked on enviously as Turlough O'Brien's squad stretched Monaghan all the way to stoppage time in Round 3 before eventually losing by five points.
Kildare may have won the battle to host Saturday's All-Ireland football qualifier clash with Mayo but they will lose the crowd war in Newbridge.
The only thing worse that making a wrong decision is to stick by it, bunkering down behind unsustainable arguments.
It was inevitable that something like this would happen. The day was always going to come when the unbridgeable gap between public demand and a low-capacity stadium sparked a major row over a particular game.
It used to be one of the great occasions on the summer calendar but now the Leinster football final is no more than a sad reminder of the crisis engulfing the largest province.
A place in the history books is the target for Fermanagh and Dublin in tomorrow's Ulster and Leinster SFC finals on a weekend when, barring draws, three more of the eight slots in the All-Ireland quarter-final 'Super 8s' will be decided.
Brian Fenton is in his fourth season with Dublin, having already won three All-Ireland, three Leinster, three Allianz League titles and two All-Star awards. He was also nominated for the Footballer of the Year award in 2016.
It's 21 years since Waterford hurlers were eliminated from the championship before the footballers, an unusual turn of events that will boost the attendance in Fraher Field, Dungarvan on Saturday.
Disciplinary action against counties who allegedly broke the regulations on training camps and challenge games in the run-up to this year's provincial championships won't be taken for another month at least - if indeed at all.
If Stephen Rochford had been allowed to choose Mayo's opponents from the eight possibilities in the Round 2 qualifier draw, Tipperary would have been his seventh choice in a field that also included Monaghan, Leitrim, Sligo, Clare, Carlow, Longford and Down.
If Waterford's history is anything to go by, Derek McGrath's replacement can expect to be given plenty of time to stamp his personality on the job, something that's becoming increasingly rare in the volatile world of team management.
We have had the feast, now for the famine. Perhaps 'famine' is a slight exaggeration, more a case of strict rationing but, either way, the difference will be stark.
THE CHALLENGE: To prevent counties in the Munster and Leinster hurling round robin from facing four - or even three - games on successive weekends while adhering to a tight schedule.