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When the shrill of the final whistle echoes around the cauldron that will be Croke Park on Sunday afternoon, will it be back-to-back All Ireland senior hurling titles for the first time in three decades for Galway, or will Limerick have bridged a 45-year gap since last annexing the Liam McCarthy Cup?
On-field rugby action for the season commences with a hugely attractive match between Connacht and Wasps at Dubarry Park, Athlone, on Saturday afternoon.
Cara Cunningham, MINDI, Community Dietitian
Reigning champions St. Lomans had to allow for extra reserves as they saw off the stern challenge provided by Athlone in Hogan Park, Moate on Sunday evening. Reduced to 14 players midway through the second half, Luke Dempsey's charges could have succumbed to intense Athlone pressure at this time and when Ryan Gaffey pointed to put the Shannonsiders in front, it seemed that St. Lomans were facing a rare Westmeath senior football championship loss.
Mayo were mere inches away from forcing extra time in Croke Park, but Ryan O’Donoghue’s last gasp close range free was deflected up and over the bar by a Kildare hand and with it went Mayo’s hopes on Jones Road.
Ballina United hit nine goals against a hapless Iorras Aontaithe to take a giant leap towards claiming the 2018 Elverys Super League title last weekend.
The role of goalkeeper in Gaelic football has changed dramatically over the past few years - where once a good shot stopper and a guy who could launch the ball 50 yards down the field were the prerequisite skills for the position, now the position has changed into something much different - with footballing ability, precision passing as important a the ability to read the tactical plan of the opposition vital to the role.
Mayo may be running out in Croke Park on Sunday lunch time with an All Ireland title up for grabs and all that a game of that magnitude brings with it, but in reality it is very simple what is going to happen out there, according to Mayo manager Mike Solan; and it is a simple message that he has been getting his side to buy into all year long - "It’s 60 minutes of football. When you strip away everything that’s what it’s going to come down to on Sunday. That’s what it came down to against Leitrim, against Roscommon, against Derry," he explained.
The last time Mayo were pitted against Kildare in a championship game the Newbridge or Nowhere phenomenon took over the GAA conversation for a week. This time around when the respective counties u20 sides run out to do battle on Croke Park, there is nowhere else either sides supporters would like to see their teams going into action.
The Galway senior footballers are in action this Saturday evening (6pm) in Salthill against Monaghan in the final game of the All-Ireland quarter-finals. It will also be Galway’s last home game of the season so all maroon GAA supporters should make the effort to get to Pearse Stadium to cheer their side on.