GAA Editor @BrianGBarry
Kerry v Dublin a breath of fresh air, and more takeaways from the GAA weekend
Last Updated: 11/02/19 4:43pm
After the weekend's GAA action, we take stock of what we learned.
Kerry and Dublin show football is alive and well
In many ways, it was a game that Gaelic football was crying out for. 2018 was a mere procession as Dublin conquered all before them, with teams setting up defensively to no avail. A winter of debate and rule changes ensued.
This young Kingdom side have been tipped widely as the team most likely to challenge the Sky Blues' drive for five, and the win won't have done their belief any harm. Dublin played their part in an epic, reeling their hosts in as the clock ticked down, despite playing with 14 men.
The end-to-end nature of the game, the direct style of play, and both sides setting up offensively all combined for a breath of fresh air.
It was the match football needed, and the result Kerry needed.
Division 2 delivering on its promise
Widely hailed before the campaign as the most competitive of the four tiers, Division 2 is certainly living up to its billing.
Before the weekend, Tipperary were bottom as they prepared to host leaders Donegal in Thurles. However, the Premier turned over the Ulster champions, and the field looks wide open right now.
Just one point separates first and sixth, and it's anybody's guess as to who will go up.
Niall Morgan providing a real attacking threat for Tyrone
Goalkeeper Niall Morgan has scored from play in the last two weekends, as his forays up the field offer Mickey Harte's side an added attacking outlet.
The 'fly goalkeeper' is a modern phenomenon in Gaelic football, and few are using it as potently as Tyrone. Morgan was on hand to kick a late equalisier for the Ulster side in Roscommon, as they avoided a third consecutive defeat in Division 1.
The Red Hands' shot-stopper was the most eager to take on a shot as his team yearned for an equaliser, and it was the exact enthusiasm needed.
The Rebels continue on a downward curve
Following harrowing defeats to Kerry and Tyrone last summer, Cork football had reached a low ebb. However, many optimistically pondered if there was much further to fall, or if the only way was up.
Although a long-term plan has been put in place to regain 'Corkness', it's not going to provide a short-term boost. Right now, it looks like Cork could be headed for Division 3. Beaten by nine points in Ennis, Ronan McCarthy's charges are bottom of the second tier, with just one point picked up in their first three games.
Meath travel Lee-side in round four, and it looks like a must-win for the Munster outfit.
Former champs set for final showdown
The Tommy Moore Cup has been claimed by both Ballyhale Shamrocks and St Thomas' in recent years, and the two clubs are coming back for more on St Patrick's Day.
Ballyhale will enter as favourites after impressively accounting for Munster champions Ballygunner in Thurles, while St Thomas' edged past Cushendall by the skin of their teeth.
Cuala and Na Piarsaigh showed last year just what can happen when teams with experience of club hurling's biggest day collide. Roll on March 17.