A sideline cut at the GAA weekend.
Last week Mayo great and current AFLW star Cora Staunton warned that the coming season Down Under could be the last that sees players able to combine an intercounty season with a stint in Australia.
With changes to the calendar, that could see the AFLW season start in August and require a preseason training block, the likelihood of being able to combine both looks to be getting more remote.
Staunton also insisted that the interest in Irish talent would remain strong and reports this morning state that North Melbourne are on the cusp of acquiring two Irish stars.
Womens.afl are reporting that the Kangaroos have won “an intense battle with Fremantle for Wall's signature with her Gaelic side Meath also making a considerable effort to block her attempts at moving to Australia.”
It had been suggested that Wall would be able to see out her season with the Royals before making the move which, should Meath reach the All-Ireland final, would mean Wall would only travel Down Under just a few weeks before the start of the season though that hasn’t been confirmed. O’Shea is expected to make the trip earlier. Aileen Gilroy is also expected to be with North Melbourne.
Once again Mark O’Connor and Zach Tuohy led the way for the Irish down Under as they both featured in their 53 point win over GWS Giants to keep them very much in the hunt for one of the eight finals places. Tuohy was joint second on disposals for the Cats and joint third overall with 28 while O’Connor managed 21 disposals and a behind as they sit in fifth in the ladder.
After impressing for Hawthorn last week, Meath’s Conor Nash saw out the Hawks’ 27 point defeat to Essendon after being forced off with an injury the previous weekend. The likes of Fionn O’Hara (the most recent addition to the Irish ranks in the AFL), Cian McBride, Barry O’Connor and Deividas Uosis are awaiting their AFL debuts.
The Irish in the AFL: Darragh Joyce (St Kilda), Zach Tuohy, Mark O’Connor (both Geelong), Conor Nash, Fionn O’Hara (both Hawthorn), Cian McBride (Essendon), Colin O’Riordan, Barry O’Connor (both Sydney Swans), Callum Brown (GWS Giants), James Madden, Deividas Uosis (both Brisbane Lions).
Despite pushing Donegal hard in their Ulster semi-final, defeat for Cavan means they are headed for the Tailteann cup. And already the bookmakers have installed Mickey Graham’s men as clear favourites for the competition.
The Breffni men are priced at 2/1 while Westmeath are next on the list at 5/1 even though their participation is not yet confirmed. Should the Lake men lose to Kildare next Sunday they will be officially in the running and they will be joined by Tipperary should they lose to Limerick in their Munster semi-final.
New York, who will be looking for their first championship win when they join the competition at the quarter-final stage, are priced at 100/1.
Confirmed Tailteann cup participants: Antrim, Down, Fermanagh, Cavan, Longford, Offaly, Laois, Carlow, Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford, Sligo, Leitrim, London and New York
Paudie Maher’s body won’t allow him to line out for Tipperary any longer but he was lobbying hard for his former team mates for better support.
The number of league and championship appearances Mickey Quinn has made for Longford
“The promotion of it is going to be key. I saw Tony McEntee last week really bigging it up but the promotion from the GAA itself needs to be huge. They need to get that moving.” - Leitrim manager Andy Moran after his side became the latest team to enter the Tailteann cup.
Hurling takes centre stage this weekend with Dublin having the chance to secure their place in the Leinster final should they beat Kilkenny in Parnell Park on Saturday evening in front of the Sky cameras.
Limerick can make mathematically certain of their place in the Munster decider in the second game on Sunday while Waterford take on a Cork side fighting for their survival in the 2pm throw-in.
Dublin v Kilkenny, Parnell Park, 7.0 - Sky Sports Arena
Waterford v Cork, Walsh Park, 2.0 - RTE2
Clare v Limerick, Cusack Park, Ennis, 4.0 - RTE2