On Friday, and again on Saturday, and once more on Sunday, The Sunday Game tweeted the same thing.

The upcoming show, we were told, would feature a discussion about Jarlath Burns’ comments that the All-Ireland finals could return to September and views were being canvassed, with a WhatsApp number helpfully provided.

The responses were almost uniform – please just show us the matches. Last weekend saw 11 games take place across football and hurling, so time was already limited and dropping in a chat about a tired topic would have reduced the available time even further.

To the show’s credit, the views were taken on board and the big discussion didn’t materialise. They even showed some Joe McDonagh Cup action, which was a first outside of the final.

The new President’s comments, as relayed in the Ratified podcast, were certainly interesting and there can be a debate about their merits – but when the time allows. A midweek offering could mix previews, reviews and discussions about formats and calendars that everybody seems to love.

When the inter-county season is as compacted as it is, keep the highlights shows for highlights. On that note, where is the Saturday night highlights show that was announced to great fanfare last year? Its absence meant that the Sunday programme was more packed than it might otherwise have been, such was the volume of things to talk about.

The two games in the Munster hurling championship may not have been classics in the truest sense but they didn’t lack for drama, especially the Clare-Limerick clash in Cusack Park. Having been the better team for long, leading by eight points at one stage, Clare will wonder how they lost by three.

They’re not the first – and probably won’t be the last – team to have been on the end of a Limerick second-half blitz. How they react will be important and the fact that they are travelling to SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh to face Cork this Sunday with both teams coming off losses lends the game a near-knockout feel.


Cork struggled to get going against a Waterford side primed for the battle and the win for Davy Fitzgerald’s side has really shaken things up. The Déise were almost discounted when assessing the three qualifiers from Munster but now they have two precious points on the board and a weekend off before Tipp come to Walsh Park.

Before that, Tipp go to TUS Gaelic Grounds this weekend with the hosts under less pressure than it looked like they might have been. Another win for them would put them clear at the top of the table and leave the other four counties battling for two spots. Which is kind of what we expected, anyway.

While two of the results in the opening round of Leinster SHC fixtures could be predicted fairly confidently – Galway and Kilkenny winning at home to Carlow and Antrim respectively – the Wexford-Dublin clash was considered the most pivotal of the three as it could give an indication as to who was most likely to finish third in the table.

The home side were in front for much of the proceedings at Chadwicks Wexford Park before being suckered with the concession of two late goals that earned Dublin a draw. This weekend, Wexford go to Belfast with Dublin away to Carlow while the clash of the big two, Galway against Kilkenny in Pearse Stadium, may prove to be a shadow-boxing bout, given the expectation that the pair will clash again in the provincial final.

Football-wise, the clash of Donegal and Derry lived up to its billing for the most part, even if Donegal’s six-point winning margin was more than what was generally expected. The 4-11 to 0-17 final scoreline reminded us of the last great win of Jim McGuinness’s first reign, when they blitzed Dublin with goals in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Donegal did their homework and punished Derry’s tactic of pushing up on kickouts, with Daire Ó Baoill twice catching goalkeeper Odhrán Lynch off his line. Is it the end of the ‘fly keeper’? Or is the concept something that can be adjusted to avoid such calamity? It may be the case that a high-profile botún or two doesn’t outweight the marginal benefits that the strategy provides.

For Donegal, the challenge is to turn around and face into an equally tough semi-final tie against Tyrone this weekend, with the Red Hands having just about held off Cavan.

Sligo were probably the unluckiest team of the weekend, so close to beating Galway – who had 14 points on them in last year’s Connacht final – only to be denied with a late goal. Will we have drama like that in this weekend’s Leinster semi-finals?

The meeting of Kildare and Louth, two teams with Division 2 league campaigns that were more up than down, is likely to be close but, as impressive as Offaly’s improvement has been, it would take a gargantuan effort to stop Dublin’s bid for a 14th straight Leinster title.

Dessie Farrell’s side are 1/500 with the bookies – even the banks would give you a better rate of return on your money.

No minor matter

Waterford minor camogie players Aisling Bonnar, Hannah McGrath and Abbie Burrows celebrate their Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor A Camogie Championship semi-final win over Cork at Kilcommon, Co. Tipperary. \ Tom Beary/Sportsfile

The semi-finals of the Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor A Camogie Championship took place last weekend.

Tipperary edged their Kilkenny counterparts in a game which required extra time while goals were crucial for Waterford as they avenged last year’s final defeat by Cork to make it back to a second straight final.

What were the finer details? Well, unfortunately, we can’t help you there as match reports were thin on the ground. Even on Monday, the Camogie Association’s website had as its most recent news item a piece from Wednesday, advertising tickets for the games.

Good money

The final takes place this weekend and will hopefully get more coverage. Electric Ireland are paying good money to sponsor the competition along with the hurling and football equivalents and there are ads on the radio promoting it but the players involved deserve to have their exploits properly celebrated.

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