MIKE QUIRKE: Kerry’s elder statesmen need to prove their worth

It was supposed to be a festival of football, a celebration of our game played out amongst the best teams the competition has to offer in one of the finest stadiums in the world.

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JOHN FOGARTY: It is all on the line for Eamonn Fitzmaurice

“We’re fighting for our lives and we’ll have to bring everything.”

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ANTHONY DALY: Brilliant, sublime, heroic: God’s game delivers again

These boys don’t think like past Limerick teams, writes Anthony Daly.

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JOHN DIVILLY: Galway turned up with a plan. What was Kerry’s?

The final instalment of round one in the Super 8 produced one of the strangest and most subdued games in Croke Park in a very long time, writes John Divilly.

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COLM COOPER: For Kerry’s coming class, it’s time to sit their first real exam

Don’t judge me. If I’m on trial for soaking up the splendours of the south of France this week, looking out at the mile-high yachts of Roman Abramovich and the like, I am guilty as charged, writes Colm Cooper. 

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DONAL O'GRADY: Given freedom, Cillian Buckley can bolster misfiring Kilkenny’s scoring power

Kilkenny have had little time to recover and re-energise since last Sunday. Fatigue will be a factor this weekend and it will be easier to defend a lead rather than chase a deficit in the finishing stretch.  

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LIAM BRADY: Battle of tiny giants crowns best World Cup since 1970

My first World Cup memories go back to 1966 when I would have been 10 and at a stage in my childhood where I was really becoming obsessed with football.

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ENDA MCEVOY: There’s no Brexiteer entitlement about Southgate’s England

And does it mean anything more than that we have a very good team and an even better manager? Probably not, although I’d like to make the point – not for the first time – that there’s nothing wrong with Britain. It’s just the politicians who keep letting us down.
- Nigel Lawson, future chancellor of the exchequer, writing after the 1966 World Cup final.

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O'ISIN MCCONVILLE: Untested Dubs, more than anyone, will embrace the Super 8

It was quite something to see Michael Murphy at the Irish Open Pro-Am in Ballyliffin, laughing and enjoying the company of the country’s top golfers and a few thousand avid GAA supporters ten days out from what is effectively an All-Ireland quarter-final. It wouldn’t have happened on Jim McGuinness’ watch, I can tell you that.

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LIAM MACKEY: When it comes to the World Cup, you can’t polish a third

And then there was one. Well, two actually, but the World Cup third-place play-off is definitely one of those nominally competitive fixtures which presents a fairly robust challenge to my old friend Declan Lynch’s wise maxim that there’s never a good reason not to watch a football match.

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ANTHONY DALY: A day that will require Davy Fitzgerald to suspend the waves of emotion

The first time I managed Dublin against my own county, in 2009, we had the chance to officially relegate Clare from Division 1.

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ENDA MCEVOY: Limerick the Munster team best equipped for Leinster grindhouse

Right, tomorrow in Thurles. Here’s the slightly — but only slightly — likelier scenario.

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PAUL ROUSE: Did shouting for England make us any more mature?

Now that the dust is settling on England’s defeat to Croatia, there is a completely unimportant question to be asked: Did supporting the English soccer team make a man or a woman more mature than a man or woman who felt sick to their stomach at the prospect of England winning the World Cup?

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PM O'SULLIVAN: The ball has hopped up for Limerick, they must strike

While soccer, courtesy of Croatia, is no longer winging home, hurling truths are dropping towards a roost.

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BRENDAN O'BRIEN: How can women’s sport catch up travelling in a second-class carriage?

Only someone living in a cave, and maybe the odd cave man, could deny that there has been a long overdue change in perceptions when it comes to women in sport.

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TOMMY MARTIN: Beating Dublin in Croke Park is like blowing up the Death Star

Croke Park has been treated by the GAA public lately as if it were a vacuous hunk on the receiving end of a particularly awkward Love Island dumping.

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KIERAN SHANNON: Cork and Ronan McCarthy can’t afford this insular outlook

If Cork’s exit from the championship was highly embarrassing, then Ronan McCarthy’s exit interview to the print media was most intriguing.

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MIKE QUIRKE: All dolled up for proper festival of football

We’ve been waiting all year to see what all the hype was about, and now that we are on the eve of the inaugural Super 8s stage of the All-Ireland series, it’s hard not to get bloody excited about the prospect of seeing the best teams in the country go head to head. Slugging it out.

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JOHN FOGARTY: What’s so super about this 'festival of football'?

Forgive us if we’re not completely over the moon about what follows over the next four weeks. ‘A festival of football’ is how my colleague Micheál Quirke describes the Super 8, and indeed there is much to anticipate as the best face the best.

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ANTHONY DALY: Donoghue’s message clicked: Nobody is untouchable

Over the last while, I’ve been listening to Alan O’Mara’s excellent podcast ‘Real Talks’.

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