I felt I deserved a day off on Monday – it was spent at Adare Golf Club, taking in the JP McManus Pro-Am, hoping that good golf would rub off on me by osmosis.

Plenty of others had the same idea, with crowd estimates around the 40,000 mark for each of the two days.

Ten of the world’s top 11 golfers were present, illustrating the esteem in which the host is held, and no doubt the mood was helped by the fact that the team he sponsors – the Limerick senior hurlers – enjoyed another victory on Sunday, beating Galway to reach the All-Ireland final.

A bit like the Munster final win over Clare, it was a case of Limerick having a lot thrown at them but were nonetheless still standing at the end.

It was a huge effort by Galway, their best performance of the year, and it leaves them in a position to build during Henry Shefflin’s second year in charge.

Limerick move on, looking to make it three titles in a row, and in the way that sport tends to throw up pre-written narratives, the identity of their opponents seems written in the stars.

The last county to beat Limerick in the championship was also the last county to win Liam MacCarthy three years on the trot, and on Saturday evening Brian Cody and Kilkenny showed that once more the obituaries have been written prematurely.

Clare had been very good up to now but they malfunctioned in the first half, while Kilkenny were just ruthless and the game was as good as over by half-time.

As mentioned last week, since Cody took over at the end of 1998, the Cats have never gone more than two years without reaching the final and that record remains intact.

They will probably need to be better if they are to win the final, but the key thing is that they are there. We will talk more about the final next week, but this weekend’s activity is big-ball related.

All Bets on for the football

One bookmaker has had odds available for the Dublin-Kerry semi-final since the beginning of June – presumptuous perhaps, but ultimately proven to be correct – and the irony is that, even at the penultimate stage of the championship, it’s still hard to get a read on these two sides that have strolled through their respective provincial championships.

Dublin are probably not as imperious as during their six-in-a-row romp, but they don’t necessarily have to be: they just have to be better than everyone else.

Kerry have been seen as the coming team for a few years but they’ve yet to be able to make it happen.

Neither county seemed in grave danger of not making it through their respective quarter-finals, Dublin against Cork and Kerry against Mayo, and that doesn’t really tell us much about them, but we can take it that it will be close. It certainly promises to be interesting.

By the time those sides take to the Croke Park pitch on Sunday afternoon, a wait of either 21 or 29 years to play in the final will have been ended after Galway and Derry do battle on Saturday evening.

Having come through Ulster by perfecting a counter-attacking style, Derry showed that they can play on the front foot against Clare in the quarter-final, while Galway will be well-primed after their epic battle with Armagh. That could stand them in good stead.

Also this weekend is the all-Connacht minor final between Galway and Mayo, which takes place in Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon on Friday night.

It’s their third meeting of the year – Mayo won the provincial round-robin clash and then the Connacht final, but Galway have regrouped well since then.

If it’s anywhere near as good as last Sunday’s minor hurling final – when Paddy McCormack’s late, late goal for Tipperary broke Offaly’s hearts – then we could be in for a treat.

Bright spots for Ireland despite loss

For a few minutes last Saturday morning, we dared to dream – Keith Earls’ try for Ireland against New Zealand suggested that a historic first away win against the All Blacks could be in the offing.

Unfortunately, it was a false dawn as the home side took control of the game and won on a 42-19 scoreline, but there were some bright spots in terms of Ireland’s attacking play, moving the ball well through the hands.

They scored three tries, but conceded six and that, on the back of a 32-17 reversal for the midweek team against the Maori All Blacks, will point to where the work on the training ground is needed.

Two more tests remain and, while a series victory would be a huge shock, the key thing for Andy Farrell’s men is to put up an improved showing. The only problem is that New Zealand haven’t hit their ceiling either.

RTÉ to broadcast Women’s Euro 2022

While the Republic of Ireland aren’t at Women’s Euro 2022, all of the games are being broadcast live on RTÉ2.

Three years ago the attention given to the Women’s World Cup helped to lift the profile of the sport to a new level and, as we have said previously, the ubiquity of such coverage will hopefully mean that before too long it will be something not worth remarking on, such will be its place in the normal sports timetable.

When girls see female sport on TV it shows them that such achievements are attainable, and the value of that prime-time advertising can’t be measured.