And so we are down to final two in 2013 hurling championship, writes our GAA blogger Ciarán McGowan.
On Sunday, Clare beat an out of form Limerick team to advance to final on 8th of September against Cork- an all Munster final and first between these two counties.
In a game that lacked intensity and skill level of last Sunday’s semi-final, Clare imposed their system onto a Limerick team that never really settled and lacked fluency that we have become to expect this year. Limerick will rue many wasted opportunities (particularly frees) and may still be scratching their heads to understand why some of their big players failed to perform on their biggest stage of year. Clare, on other hand, were systematic in their approach of maintaining possession through short, sharp, forward passing to get to scoring range. With Colin Ryan ruthless in his free taking (scoring 11 points in all), Clare lead from start and after scoring a sloppy goal early in first half, never looked like losing game.
Perhaps most notable aspect of this game was performances of Clare’s under 21 players such as Tony Kelly and David McInerney - a total of fourteen players from Clare panel will be action again next weekend in All Ireland Under 21’s semi-final. These are really talented young players that irrespective of any ‘system’ can hurl with a confidence and freedom that on its own is worth admission fee. Roll on 8th September; we can’t get enough of this!!
GAA fixtures this weekend – GAA Football Semi-Final
Sunday 25th August
Tyrone v Mayo (15:30 GMT)
It’s back to football next Sunday with Tyrone and Mayo both vying for a place in this year’s All Ireland football final. It’s very hard to see beyond Mayo in this game. They have looked really strong in their games this year comprehensively beating all before them including last year’s champions, Donegal. Tyrone, meanwhile have taken scenic route and have come through dogged encounters with both Meath and Monaghan. The four week break will no doubt suit Tyrone but I can’t see them overcoming this impressive Mayo outfit. Two caveats – 1. Having had it so easy so far, Mayo may think they are better than they actually are and. 2. Tyrone are still Tyrone and know how to win semi-finals. Notwithstanding this, Mayo to win
Prediction - Mayo