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Your GAA championship weekend review

Kilkenny beaten by the Dubs and London march into the Connacht final. So I guess, you could say this weekend was pretty epic.

INPHO/James Crombie

Best team performance

Anytime, Kilkenny are beaten in the championship, it’s going to be by a team in form. Anthony Daly’s side were denied last week in the first game out but the Dubs managed to get the job done in the Portlaoise replay on Saturday night. It’s a result that blows the All-Ireland hurling championship wide open; Tipperary and Kilkenny face off in a truly mouth-watering loser-leaves-town match next week before Galway and Dublin make up a novel provincial decider.

Did someone whisper ‘Dublin for the double’?

History makers

London fans cheer their side on in the final moments. Pic: INPHO/Mike Shaughnessy

As perhaps everyone said yesterday: there won’t be a cow milked in Piccadilly for a week.  History was made in Roscommon’s Dr Hyde Park yesterday as London claimed a spot — for the first time ever —  in the Connacht SFC decider. The Exiles almost let slip a 14-point half-time lead but managed ultimately to get over the line in another thrilling replay. Next up? Only a formidable-looking Mayo. Meanwhile at Croke Park, a rampant Dublin beat Kildare by the biggest margin in championship since 1897.

Comeback of the weekend

Meath’s Seamus Kenny with Brian Malone of Wexford. Pic: INPHO/Donall Farmer

The Royals’ Seamus Kenny started in his first game in 13 months for the county after sustaining cruciate damage. He impressed at wing-back as Meath defeated Wexford.

Soccer tekkers at Croker

Take a bow, Eoghan O’Gara:

Gif credit: Balls

Ref justice?

There was a bizarre moment in yesterday’s Cavan/Monaghan game in Clones as a Christopher McGuinness’s effort was scooped out from over the line by a Cavan defender before the ball was then seemingly fouled. Rather than award a goal or a penalty, the referee waved play on and the umpires stood by. Baffling.

Pic: The Sunday Game

Point of the weekend

David O’Callaghan was all over the place at O’Moore Park and he scored this cracker from the right wing while under pressure from Kilkenny’s Conor Fogarty in the first-half. Good man, Dotsy.

Spot the Corkman on the Sunday Game panel

Pic: The Sunday Game

Tomás Mul couldn’t help himself as he explained that the Cats have a lot of miles on the clock and mental fatigue has set in at Nowlan Park. As he pondered the possibility that Brian Cody’s era of dominance might be coming to an end at last, more than a hint of a smile danced across the Glen Rovers man’s face. Roight.

Stat watch

  • Dublin last beat Kilkenny in the Leinster senior hurling championship in 1942.
  • They were 6/1 to win Saturday’s game.
  • The last time Tipperary and Kilkenny met in July in knock-out hurling championship was July, 1912.

PA announcement of the weekend

INPHO/Ryan Byrne

During the Westmeath-Waterford game, a plea went out to find Tony Browne’s hurley which went missing after the game. He came on as a substitute and is 40 on Monday.

Goal of the weekend

It was a big evening for the Association as the first Friday night championship game was played out. Pádraig McMahon marked the occasion by scoring for Laois against Carlow with a cracking individual effort as he ran 60 yards through the defence before tucking it away.

Go to 0.57

YouTube: KilkennyFootball

Fan picture of the weekend

These lads are poets… and they know it. You may have thought it was Monaghan that was known for its poetry but it was these Cavan fans in Clones who had a rhyming rebuke for Sunday Game analyst Pat Spillane. A1.

Pic: INPHO/Donall Farmer

Best celebration pic

We’ve had Tebowing, Kapernicking and plenty other kind of celebration fad. Introducing ‘The Dalo’:

Pic: INPHO/James Crombie

Tweets of the weekend

Ireland out half Ian Madigan approves of Bernie B’s new look:

Comedian Dara Ó Briain reflects on the 90s-style revolution in hurling this summer

And Offaly legend Joe Dooley gives an honest — if unhelpful — answer when asked who he fancies in the aforementioned Tipp-Kilkenny showdown:

H/T Joe

Out the gap

Sligo boss Kevin Walsh resigned in the wake of his side’s championship exit against Derry last night. Walsh saw his team defeated by seven points in Owenbeg in round 1 of the All-Ireland football qualifiers. It puts the tin cap on a  tough campaign for the Yeats County after they lost to London in the Connacht championship. Eamon O’Hara — who was vocal in his criticism of Walsh earlier this summer — was a member of the Sunday Game panel last night; he insisted he doesn’t want the job. Honest.

Back to the future

  • So 16 teams will go into the ‘bowl’ for the All-Ireland SFC draw on Monday morning. It’ll be broadcast live on TV3 at 8.30am. Here’s the detail.
  • This time next week, either Galway or Dublin will be Leinster champions. And, amazingly, one of Kilkenny and Tipperary can start looking at last-minute holidays.
  • Jim McGuinness clocked up a fair few miles on the road this weekend as he first took in Cavan and Monaghan’s game and then turned the car towards Drumcondra for Dublin’s demolition of Kildare at HQ. The Donegal boss may yet have to lead his side into battle with Jim Gavin’s Dubs but he knows now that the All-Ireland champions will take on the Farney in the Ulster decider on 21 July.

16 teams in tomorrow’s All-Ireland football qualifier round two draw

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