Kilcoo continue to make a mockery of favourites’ tags and bookies’ odds, a superb dismantling of the Dublin and Leinster champions Ballyboden on Saturday earning the first-time Ulster winners a place in the All-Ireland final on January 19.
This much we know: Waterford are dead, Clare are on life support. To take the third qualifying spot next Sunday from the Munster Hurling Championship, the Banner must beat Cork and hope Limerick at least draw with Tipperary. That would knock Cork out on the head-to-head.
Twenty-five years ago, Pete McGrath led Down to their fifth and his second All-Ireland title. A year of rifts and bridge building; of violence and sorrow, of one magnificent match, and of vindication.
Sunday’s mass brawl in Austin Stack Park should at least set one record straight. Just as it becomes clearer that Brexit impacts the entire island and not just the North, the violence at GAA matches is not the preserve of Ulster as much as some would, for the sake of convenience but truly downright ignorance, like to sweep that problem towards the nine counties.
Blas na hÉireann, the Irish food awards, announced this year’s winners, with Rooney Fish crowned Supreme Champion for their Millbay Oysters and Refuge Hot Chocolate announced as Best Artisan Product at the 2018 finals which have just concluded in Dingle.
Steven Poacher’s Ulster accent has been one of the main backing tracks to the movie reel of the moments that mark Carlow’s progression from anonymous extras to strong supporting actors in Gaelic football this last 12 months.