This weekend, Cork face up to Kerry in a highly anticipated rematch of last year's provincial semi-final - yes, the game that saw Kerry 'the only side capable of stopping Dublin' dumped out of the All-Ireland series thanks to a last-minute smash and grab in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
As the delayed 2020 championship is due to be completed on Sunday with Kerry pitched against Derry in the decider, the 2021 Munster campaign begins with a new look Cork off and on the field seeking a positive start with a quarter final encounter away to Waterford.
Semi-finals are all about winning, both Cork and Kerry gained comfortable wins without hitting their potential heights from last weekend's Munster SFC action. Job done for Cork, well aware that a further improvement is required if they are to better last season's runner up position in the provincial decider.
Last weekend Pat Ryan guided Cork to their first significant All Ireland hurling title since the now much lauded 2005 Senior win. The Sarsfields' man was also a player one year previous to the last time the Under 20 / 21s won the title 1998 - with both facts now going a long way to showing just what a significant win last Saturday night was in Nowlan Park.
A goal just before half-time from Brid O'Sullivan was crucial as Cork got their TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship campaign off to a winning start at Birr. In a close and tense game the experience of Cork told in the end with Ciara O'Sullivan and Aine O'Sullivan superb in the second half ensuring Cork took the points.
Mallow were far superior to Carrigaline in this Bon Secours Co JBFC final at Pairc Ui Rinn on Sunday. Carrigaline had the opening point by Ronan Kelleher. They were reduced to 14 players with one of their midfielders receiving a black card. Mallow took control and dominated in all sectors. Paul Lyons had their first goal.
It will be five years in September since Cork last laid their hands on the Brendan Martin Cup, and the quest to win back what was once - for a spell - the sole property of the Rebels starts this Saturday against Meath in a fixture that might be trickier than it looks on paper.
Almost completely overlooked in the whole thing was the rather reckless challenge, which precipitated the awarding of the most controversial penalty probably in the history of the game. Clare's Aidan McCarthy completely cleaned out Jake Morris, taking the legs out from under him having slid in at serious pace. In football it would have straight away been a black card offence. No questions, no doubt, no post-game controversy.
Duhallow GAA are pleased to announce Newmarket based Hannon's Mace and Maxol as sponsor of the inaugural Duhallow Hurling Cup. Following the success of its football equivalent, a call to introduce a divisional competition featuring senior, intermediate and junior teams met with an overwhelming response.
Has Stephen Cluxton already played his last game for Dublin? With the Dubs set to get their All-Ireland title defence underway in Wexford on Sunday, the indications are that the seven-time All-Ireland winning captain will not be starting in goals. Indeed, it seems that the Parnells will not even be part of the match day squad, or that he is even training with the Leinster champions at the moment.
The 2021 Munster Hurling Championship kicked off - or rather threw in! - in earnest last weekend with Waterford and Clare squaring off in their Munster championship quarter-final in Thurles. The Munster duo were looking to hit the ground running and book a place in the semi-final against a Tipperary side that under Liam Sheedy have a lot to prove this year.
The Cork women footballers take on Dublin in Saturday's Lidl National Football League Division 1 final in what will form the basis of a Government-approved test event for spectators at Croke Park next Saturday, with three of the competing teams set for quick-fire returns to the famous venue.
Harbour Rovers emerged deserving winners over Kilshannig in the 2020 Hibernian Hotel JAHC replayed final at Mallow on Sunday. Kilshannig had three wides in the opening two minutes. Harbour Rovers were quick to settle. Points by Peter and Stephen Condon (free) had them 0-2 ahead after four minutes. Jack Twomey pointed a free for Kilshannig.
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