A hawkeye view of the weekend’s GAA drama just gone.
The Roscommon ladies could turn to a world champion as they secured a place in the All-Ireland intermediate quarter final thanks to a convincing win over Kildare.
Lisa O’Rourke secured World Championship gold in Istanbul recently in a glorious weekend for Irish boxing as Amy Broadhurst also claimed top prize.
But last weekend O’Rourke was in action of a different kind and kicked three points from midfield as the Rossies moved deeper into the All-Ireland race.
By winning the McDonagh final in a score fest on Saturday, Antrim saved the GAA from an awkward situation.
The Saffrons won and secured Liam MacCarthy Cup hurling for 2023, thus avoiding the scenario where Kerry would have been forced to play a playoff against Tipperary for the right to play in the top flight next year.
However, Kerry’s third successive final appearance at the grade brought back into focus that strange anomaly.
Kerry’s season isn’t done as they will play in a preliminary All-Ireland quarter-final but there have been suggestions that, should Kerry get over the line, the Munster championship could be extended to six teams to accommodate Kerry and bring it in line with the Leinster championship.
Whether Kerry would find those waters too choppy to navigate remains to be seen but manager Stephen Molumphy wants to see his side get access to the top flight should they win the McDonagh.
"Oh absolutely, 100pc,” the former Waterford star said. "That's where you want to be, that'll bring you on. You see the pace that Antrim play at because they've played in Liam MacCarthy, they're quicker, they're faster.
"If we get up, absolutely we'd take the hand off for any chance. Tipperary didn't win any game this year, it's so competitive. We'd love that, but we can't make that argument until we win the Joe McDonagh.”
Last weekend another host of counties saw their seasons come to an end. In fact, with all the hurling competitions with the exception of the Liam MacCarthy Cup wrapped up only eight hurling counties still have an interest in the summer.
Provincial champions Kilkenny and Limerick are joined by beaten finalists Galway and Clare while the third place sides from both provinces Cork and Wexford are also still in the mix and are joined by McDonagh finalists Kerry and Antrim.
Football is similar with 12 counties still in the mix. Provincial champions Dublin, Kerry, Derry and Galway are still in the hunt for Sam Maguire along with the sides they beat in their respective finals Kildare, Limerick, Donegal and Roscommon while Clare, Limerick, Cork and Armagh are also in the hunt. For everyone else the road is clear to run off club programs.
Yet another strong week for Zach Tuohy and Geelong with the Laois man managing 19 disposals as they had 13 points to spare against the Western Bulldogs with Mark O’Connor also playing as the Cats moved to fourth in the table.
It wasn’t such a good weekend for Colin O’Riordan who was forced off early in Sydney Swans’ 12 point win over Melbourne. Conor Nash had 18 disposals but the Hawks lost out to Collingwood by four points leaving them off the play off pace down in 13th, with only top eight advancing to the finals.
In the VFL, Barry O’Connor lined out for the Swans but the lost to the Casey Demons by 39. Dublin’s James Madden helped Brisbane past Northern Bullants. Fionn O’Hara, the latest player to sign up for the ‘Irish Experiement’ was in action for the Box Hill Hawks managing five disposals.
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).
“We were robbed of a penalty. We were robbed of extra-time. There is no grey area.” – Monaghan manager Seamus McEnaney pulls no punches after his side’s controversial loss to Mayo.