Monaghan beating Tyrone
By population, Monaghan are the 29th biggest county in the country. Below them are Carlow, Longford and Leitrim and just ahead are Fermanagh and Roscommon. Their entire team works in Dublin. Yet they consistently deliver. Their 1-18 to 1-16 score win over Tyrone at the weekend was just another monumental win for the small county punching well above their weight in perhaps the most even provincial championship in the country.
Monaghan haven’t been to the final since 2015 but have knocked out the reigning double champions in Tyrone (the 10th biggest county in Ireland and a small city by UK standards). They await Fermanagh in the semi-final, it’s hard to see anything but another scalp against the 28th biggest county in the country.
The Conor McManus point of the year
Is he the best forward in the country?
What a point! Watch this class score from Conor McManus! pic.twitter.com/UopRcS9Y9e
— The GAA (@officialgaa) May 20, 2018
This late score from Rory O’Connor
From a different Eircode…
Patrick Horgan & Conor Lehane
An excellent example of the skill and intelligence of Patrick Horgan, and the wristiness of Conor Lehane.
Goal for Cork! Conor Lehane’s one-handed flick sends the sliotar into the Clare net. pic.twitter.com/2reghrz4Hv
— The GAA (@officialgaa) May 20, 2018
Limerick’s win over Tipperary
Taking nothing away from Limerick on Sunday afternoon for what was a fantastic performance to open the new Munster championship. They were great from start to finish, with some wayward shooting separating their six point win with something in the double digits.
Aaron Gillane is emerging as a superb attacker, having developed immensely while in the Limerick U21 team last year and being part of a successful Mary I colleges team. He’s laser accurate from frees and showed that he can tussle in the air and win his own ball. Graeme Mulcahy was superb also, with four points from play.
But their back-line is up there with one of the best in the country. Richie English and Sean Finn are two of the most capable corner backs in the country, behind a fine half-back line in Dan Morrissey, Declan Hannon and Diarmaid Byrnes. Seamus Hickey appeared to struggle and was eventually taken off with an injury, but they have the equally capable Michael Casey – who did so well against Con O’Callaghan in the All-Ireland Club final – to come in.
If Limerick can tighten up their attacking units to be more clinical in front of the posts, this era could appear to be a very successful one down in Shannonside.
This headline in the Irish Examiner
Bonus in the next wage-slip for this editor.
— Sportsfile (@sportsfile) May 20, 2018
St Jude’s analysis room
First of all, we realise how much this illustrates the gulf in financial power between the clubs in Dublin and other areas of the country. But secondly, you have to admit that this is really effing cool.
This stream of photos from Sportsfile
The Seamus Quigley transformation
This was Seamus Quigley three years ago when he was making his championship debut for Fermanagh. The other picture is him last Saturday, as Fermanagh beat Armagh in the Ulster football.
— GAAonReddit (@GAAonReddit) May 21, 2018
The Joe McDonagh Cup
Last but not least, the new Joe McDonagh Cup is really hotting up. Wesmeath are unbeaten after three games, following up their impressive league game with a fantastic start to their championship.
Antrim and Carlow are knocking on the door with two wins apiece, with wins over Laois and Meath respectfully this weekend.
Laois and Kerry both have a win to their name – Laois welcome Carlow to O’Moore Park in two weeks time in a must-win game, while Kerry travel to Meath who have are stuck to the bottom of the table so far.
Remember, the victor in the Joe McDonagh Cup final goes into next year’s Leinster championship – unless that team is Kerry, in which case they’ll go into a play-off against the worst team in Munster. Right now, Westmeath look good for their money.
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