And so our English cousins have come and gone without much fuss. Pints were drank, Big Jack was cheered, a pointless match played, and hopefully everyone watched the hurling afterwards.
I encountered a few guys from Surrey or Coventry watching Cork-Waterford in a pub off Stephen's Green. They were awestruck.
They were sitting beside a few Corkonians. It was a black day for those lads. As if watching their county being out-thought and outfought by the Déise wasn't bad enough, they had to translate the game for these blokes from Blighty.
There was one frenetic passage of play in the second half that had the English guys delirious. Maurice Shanahan fought through a forest of shoulders before kicking the sliotar and attempting a shot.
"He kicked it! He kicked the ball!" they all shouted.
Listening to these orgasmic shrieks of these English guys on Sunday made appreciate that hurling is the one of maybe three good things that Ireland has given the world. Surely the time is now for missionaries to set off with ash to the four corners of the globe. "Imagine what the Brazilians could do with hurling," I think Joe said a few weeks back.
Off the Ball
What a beautiful start to proceedings on Sunday lunchtime when Jack Charlton basked in an outpouring of love at Lansdowne Road. He struck such a fragile figure, a million miles away from that booming, gruff giant from my youth.
Off the Ball
Twitter on match day is like closing time, post-slow set, at a country night club. People mewling about looking for love or a fight or a laugh, and if you're lucky occasional moments of insight. About 20 minutes into the England game last weekend, twitter reduced me to tears of laughter.