Luke Dempsey's suggestion at the start of May that the Leinster colleges senior football final might still be played this year seemed absurdly optimistic. All sporting activity had ground to a halt at that stage and with speculation that 2020 might prove an entirely GAA-free year, it seemed unlikely the secondary school decider would be played.
It looked a tough break for St Joseph's Rochfortbridge, who Dempsey had coached to their first ever final. But on Friday of last week, 137 days after qualifying for that historic game against three in a row seeking Naas CBS, the Westmeath school finally got their shot at glory.
To make things even better, they scored a shock 2-13 to 0-15 win in Tullamore. The only pity is that this is as far as Rochfortbridge will be able to go thanks to the cancellation of the Hogan Cup at the end of June. With St Gerald's Castlebar and Tralee CBS having already won their provincial titles and club action currently going on all over the country, it now seems a cruelly premature call.
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THE announcement by France Football magazine that they won't be awarding the Ballon d'Or this year doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. The organisers say that, "We did not want to put an indelible asterisk on the prize list as a trophy won in exceptional circumstances due to the health crisis of Covid-19. Protecting the credibility and legitimacy of such a prize also means guaranteeing its irreproachability over time."
But there shouldn't be any great need to put an asterisk beside the award. La Liga, the Premier League, Serie A and the Bundesliga have all finished their seasons while the Champions League final stages should provide ample evidence to identify this year's world number one.
France Football hardly means to imply that the cancellation of Ligue 1 would have affected the destination of the award. Few voters would have been swayed by the flat track bully performances of Paris St Germain players in that most one-sided of leagues. Axing this year's Ballon d'Or is one of the worst French calls since they decided against landing at Bantry in 1796.
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The grid girls may have been banished from Formula One but old-school sexism lives on in the shape of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Or does it? Because this year's issue arrives accompanied by the news that SI have included, da-da, 'a first ever transgender model' da-da, 'a first ever model in a burkini' and, hurrah, 'a 56-year-old model.'
None of these are on the cover of course. That's occupied, as you'd expect, by three young women in a more traditional Swimsuit Issue mould.
There's something unmistakably American about SI's determination to hitch their bikini bonanza to the wokeness wagon. You mightn't like the hypocrisy but you'd almost admire the chutzpah.