In the aftermath of their 2014 All-Ireland final loss to Kilkenny, Eamon O’Shea defiantly declared that “This team (Tipp) will always have hope, they have great character, and the nucleus of this team will go on in the future and win All-Irelands.”
Given that much of the focus on last Sunday’s All-Ireland SHC final revolved around Richie Hogan’s sending off, arguably the most important moment of the match has almost gone underappreciated.
Perhaps as the two of them relaxed some evening in Cambridge, Seamus Heaney enlightened Derek Walcott about hurling and Croke Park and what happens when the known universe narrows into a man standing over a sideline cut with time running out on another season.
Not to put too fine a point on it but Kilkenny won the All-Ireland quarter-final largely because they were playing — and were allowed to play by and play through — Cork. Not to put too fine a point on it but they’re unlikely to win the All-Ireland semi-final largely because they’ll be playing — and will not be allowed to play by and play through — Limerick.
Wexford’s dreams of completing a clean sweep of all three Leinster minor titles for the first time since 1970 is still very much alive after they came through a stern test of their credentials last night in Tullamore, withstanding a late surge from a fiercely competitive Offaly side before wrapping up their win with an injury-time goal from Diarmuid Doyle.
The revamped hurling championship has given us many wondrous memories this last 13 months but the sight of Wexford and Kilkenny supporters jiving away together to the tune of 'Dancing at the Crossroads' may well be the most bizarre.