Champs and ‘Cats’ for final?

Championship Watch

This weekend will see both All-Ireland senior hurling semi-finals take place and they should be two cracking games.

On Saturday, Clare face Kilkenny in a repeat of last year’s clash at the same stage. On that occasion Kilkenny blitzed the Banner and Brian Lohan will be doing everything he can to ensure that does not happen to his side again.

There is no doubt that at their best Clare are probably the biggest threat to Limerick but Kilkenny like nothing more than reminding everyone of their pedigree. This could go all the way but it is hard to look beyond the Cats.

On Sunday, Limerick play Cork in a repeat of that thriller at Páirc Uí Chaoimh a few weeks ago which the Rebels won in such spectacular fashion.

There is no doubt that Cork had the measure of Limerick that night but the long-time champions have been awesome since then and despite a few injuries to vital players they should be good enough to win by four or five points and keep up their ‘Drive for Five’.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the football championship and that sensational win for Galway against Dublin last Saturday. The Dublin era had to come to an end some time and Galway were well worth their win. Their subs in particular were fantastic. They will need all their players fit for the clash with Donegal.

It also has to be said that except for the final 20 minutes of the Galway v Dublin game the football on offer last weekend was very hard to watch. Jim Gavin and his football review committee were never needed as much as they are at the moment because the game that we all love is now almost unwatchable.

The public are voting with their feet too. There were 96,000 people in Croke Park last weekend over the course of both days. It’s the smallest crowd at quarter-finals since they were introduced 23 years ago. Fundamental changes are needed to make the game more attractive – and those changes are needed very soon.