In pictures: A Season of Sundays captures highs and lows of historic GAA season

From the front cover of Stephen Cluxton smiling up at a familiar friend in Sam Maguire, Sportsfile excels in capturing history throughout A Season of Sundays.

Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Player of the Year Cluxton and his five-in-a-row winning teammates play a starring role, from obliging supporters for selfies in May through to the emotion of sealing another September success.

The inner circles. Senan Lawlor, aged three from Rosemount, joins a relaxed Westmeath team huddle following their routine qualifier win over Waterford. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
The inner circles. Senan Lawlor, aged three from Rosemount, joins a relaxed Westmeath team huddle following their routine qualifier win over Waterford. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Sisters Mairéad Purcell, aged three, and five-year-old Clodagh Purcell, from the CBS Pipe Band in Limerick, fly the flags in the Gaelic Grounds. But Cork are marching to a different tune and give the All-Ireland champions a sharp wake-up call. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Sisters Mairéad Purcell, aged three, and five-year-old Clodagh Purcell, from the CBS Pipe Band in Limerick, fly the flags in the Gaelic Grounds. But Cork are marching to a different tune and give the All-Ireland champions a sharp wake-up call. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

It was a joyful year for the Tipperary hurlers too, with their returning saviour Liam Sheedy pictured emerging from the tunnelled darkness for his first game back in December 2018. Nine months later, Sheedy is seen wildly celebrating with his players, including 2018 cruciate victim Brendan Maher.

Seconds after the final whistle Liam Sheedy hugs Willie Connors, one of the new kids on the block who came off the bench to contribute two points, and Brendan Maher, overjoyed to be here a year on from a torn cruciate injury. It’s these minutes, once victory is confirmed, which are often cited as a career highlight – and it’s not hard to see why. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Seconds after the final whistle Liam Sheedy hugs Willie Connors, one of the new kids on the block who came off the bench to contribute two points, and Brendan Maher, overjoyed to be here a year on from a torn cruciate injury. It’s these minutes, once victory is confirmed, which are often cited as a career highlight – and it’s not hard to see why. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

While those final Sundays of summer dominate front pages, with shots of Galway's camogie success and Dublin's ladies footballers, it's the pre-season shots which provide equal highlights, including a sombreroed Limerick supporter chatting to those in a Tralee chip van and a historic Mayo penalty scored into a crowded terrace.

Going, going, gone. Leitrim goalkeeper Diarmuid McKiernan shapes to dive left, Evan Regan shoots to the goalie’s right and the umpire is in the centre as Mayo win a penalty shoot-out amid high drama in Carrick-on-Shannon. The narrow win gets James Horan’s second stint as Mayo manager off to a successful start. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Going, going, gone. Leitrim goalkeeper Diarmuid McKiernan shapes to dive left, Evan Regan shoots to the goalie’s right and the umpire is in the centre as Mayo win a penalty shoot-out amid high drama in Carrick-on-Shannon. The narrow win gets James Horan’s second stint as Mayo manager off to a successful start. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Maurice-esque artistry. Rising Kerry star Seán O’Shea presses the nostalgia button when converting a sideline ball late in the win over Tyrone. It evokes memories of current selector Maurice Fitzgerald’s audacious sideline kick in the dying moments of the 2001 All-Ireland quarter-final against Dublin in Thurles when the master stylist levelled the game Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Maurice-esque artistry. Rising Kerry star Seán O’Shea presses the nostalgia button when converting a sideline ball late in the win over Tyrone. It evokes memories of current selector Maurice Fitzgerald’s audacious sideline kick in the dying moments of the 2001 All-Ireland quarter-final against Dublin in Thurles when the master stylist levelled the game Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

In a year which included Mullinalaghta's run to an All-Ireland semi-final, Leitrim’s promotion to Division 3, and the Laois hurlers' All-Ireland quarter-final appearance, it couldn't be all sunshine as the despair of defeat is seen through the lens for Cork's hurlers and footballers.

It’s not often a player strikes 3-10 and still ends up on the losing side but that’s the experience of Cork’s Patrick Horgan in this All-Ireland quarter-final. Meanwhile, it’s upwards and onwards for Kilkenny and their goalkeeper Eoin Murphy, here consoling Séamus Harnedy at the final whistle. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
It’s not often a player strikes 3-10 and still ends up on the losing side but that’s the experience of Cork’s Patrick Horgan in this All-Ireland quarter-final. Meanwhile, it’s upwards and onwards for Kilkenny and their goalkeeper Eoin Murphy, here consoling Séamus Harnedy at the final whistle. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Weary and bleary-eyed, Cork forward Michael Hurley is pretty dejected as he leaves the pitch after a home defeat to Donegal. The unthinkable for Cork - relegation to Division Three - materialises the following weekend. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Weary and bleary-eyed, Cork forward Michael Hurley is pretty dejected as he leaves the pitch after a home defeat to Donegal. The unthinkable for Cork - relegation to Division Three - materialises the following weekend. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

- A Season of Sundays retails for €27.95 from bookstores nationwide.

In pictures: A Season of Sundays captures highs and lows of historic GAA season

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