Championship Watch

Championship Watch Looking Back Game of the Weekend: There were only three major  intercounty  games at the weekend (two minor and one senior) and the All-Ireland senior hurling final was a major disappointment and unfortunately it went the way that most people expected. Kilkenny were simply too good for Limerick and once they got the two early goals it was all over. It reminded me of last year’s football final when Kerry blitzed Mayo early in the game. Limerick did their best and Ollie Moran and Mark Foley led the charge but every time that they came within five or six points of the champions Kilkenny simply dusted themselves down and responded with a string of great points. It was a pity that one of the best championships that we have seen in recent times did not have a better game as a decider but I suppose we can’t be greedy. I hate to see teams like Kilkenny and Kerry (in the football) winning so many titles but you have to hand it to them. They are setting the standards and it’s up to everyone to try and follow suit. Is there any other team in the country who could afford to lose players like Noel Hickey and Henry Shefflin and still coast to victory in an All-Ireland final? Players like Tommy Walsh, JJ Delaney and Eddie Brennan are quickly writing their names into the history books and as David McConn said in the preview here last week, we are looking at some of the greatest players that have ever played the game on this Kilkenny team. The worry for everyone else is: who is going to stop them next year either? Player of the weekend: Eddie Brennan had a sensational game, but so did so many more Kilkenny players. Michael Kavanagh, Jackie Tyrell, John Tennyson, Tommy Walsh, JJ Delaney and Richie Power were all outstanding as they coasted to another All-Ireland victory. Ollie Moran and Mark Foley did well for Limerick who were always playing catch-up.  Talking point: Brian Cody waited until he had the Liam McCarthy Cup safely in his grasp before letting fly at Ger Loughnane. Cody spoke with dignity as he answered Loughnane’s silly remarks about Kilkenny being a dirty team. They were comments that were designed to unsettle Kilkenny before their quarter-final but it didn’t work and Kilkenny gave their answer by winning the McCarthy Cup again. Loughnane might be better off to keep his mouth shut now as he has upset a lot of people this year and he is doing his own players in Galway no good at all. Something to note: An excellent speech and presentation performance by Kilkenny on Sunday. Henry Shefflin spoke with restraint and great dignity and it was very emotional to see James McGarry and his son Darragh being presented with the cup alongside the Kilkenny team. However it was not done in a gaudy or emotional way and all concerned deserve great credit for the way it was handled. Looking Forward All-Ireland U-21 HC Final (Galway v Dublin) in Croke Park on Sunday next at 2 pm For the first time ever I will be shouting against Galway in an All-Ireland Hurling Final – because I would dearly love to see Dublin win the title for the sake of the game in general. However I fear that they have to wait as Galway were excellent in the semi-final against Cork – and they should win. Prediction: Galway.   All-Ireland Senior Camogie Final (Cork v Wexford) at 4 pm in Croke Park on Sunday I would never pretend to know anything about camogie – however I presume that Cork would be the hot favourties to win another title, this time against Wexford.  Prediction: Cork.