GAA Editor @BrianGBarry
Talking points from the GAA weekend action
Last Updated: 08/07/19 5:15pm
Following a hectic weekend of GAA action, we take stock of the main talking points.
Mayo odyssey rumbles on
They were never going to do things the easy way, were they?
Mayo have negotiated the qualifiers once again, and head for the Super 8s with a real spring in their step. Saturday's win over Galway has changed the entire complexion on their year.
Suddenly, things are looking up. With Lee Keegan, Cillian O'Connor and Seamus O'Shea returning from injury, their injury crisis is not as serious as first feared. Add in the rumoured returns of Matthew Ruane and Diarmuid O'Connor, and Mayo are being viewed as All-Ireland contenders once again.
There's no time to stop and admire their achievements to date, however. There's the small matter of a trip to Killarney next weekend, before meetings with Meath and Donegal.
After a roller-coaster ride in the qualifiers, they're heading for the Super 8s. There's only one guarantee when this Mayo team takes to the field - you can't take your eyes off them.
Where to now for Galway?
At half-time in the Connacht final, it was all rosy in the garden from a Galway perspective. However, their second-half collapse against Roscommon and their tame first-half display against Mayo sees them dumped out of the championship once again.
Granted, injuries played their part, but most will feel this Galway group are failing to come close to their potential. The adjacent success of Corofin makes it all the more puzzling.
Questions will be asked if Kevin Walsh is the right man to lead the side forward, and there'd be no shortage of high profile suitors should the managerial role be vacated.
Can Cork and Meath stay afloat in the Super 8s?
At the start of the year, numerous mid-tier sides around the country will have fancied their chances of reaching the Super 8s.
The Rebels and Royals have now done just that. But as Roscommon learned last year, it's one thing to get there, it's another thing entirely to mix it with the big boys.
Can they consolidate their progress in the coming weeks? The coming weeks will provide the ultimate benchmark of how far they have come.
Cork start away to Dublin in Croke Park, while Meath head for Ballybofey to take on Ulster champions Donegal.
Eddie Brennan's stock rises
A fascinating subplot is developing as to the identity of the next Kilkenny senior hurling manager. Of course, the caveat is that Brian Cody will occupy the hot seat for as long as he wants it.
But Cody's unprecedented success over the last 20 years means there is a backlog developing, with big names stating their credentials for whenever Cody elects to walk away.
Henry Shefflin guided Ballyhale Shamrocks to the All-Ireland club title in his maiden season in charge. Eddie Brennan has now staked his claim. After guiding the Cats to an All-Ireland U21 final, he has now been the architect of surely the biggest shock intercounty hurling has seen this decade.
Dublin hurling hits another speed bump
Laois have dominated the headlines, and rightly so after Sunday's heroics in O'Moore Park. But that can't mask the fact that it's a huge setback to the Dublin hurling project.
After the joy and elation of overcoming Galway and qualifying from Leinster, this one will sting. One step forwards, two steps back.
Like Anthony Daly before him, Mattie Kenny has been left scratching his head due to his side's inconsistency.
There'll be soul-searching to be done throughout the winter. There's no doubt that the personnel is there to bounce back, in what is largely a young squad despite one or two potential retirements in the coming months.
It's been a decade of ups and downs for the Dubs, as the wait goes on for a real breakthrough.
Sky Sports' live GAA coverage continues next weekend, with Roscommon vs Tyrone and Donegal vs Meath in the Super 8s.