Welcome to our weekly chat about all things GAA. Well Shaun, you almost got 100% success in your predictions for last weekend. The shock of the round, for me anyway, was Kerry's capitualtion to Donegal. Your thoughts?
I did pick it mate rather pleased with myself on that prediction but had a shocker picking Down over Mayo.
We'll get to Mayo in a minute, but what happened to Kerry?
They were completely bamboozled by the Donegal defence. Kerry took too many wrong options, kicking aimless long balls but they had the time amazingly to get a draw but it would have been a total robbery on Donegal if they didn’t win that game.
Does it taint Colm Cooper's reputation?
Not at all to be fair to the 'Gooch' he played well when he was giving the ball. Problem was he didn't get enough of it.
Looks like Paddy McBrearty is enjoying the win!
It wasn't all good for the northern province as Down were beaten by Mayo. Would you give the westerners a chance against the Dubs?
Loss of Andy Moran to a knee is major for them, he was their talisman and even more so since Conor Mortimer has left the panel. Dubs have been in 3rd gear all Championship. Think Mayo will put it up to them but Dublin should have enough to go through.
And what about the Kingdom's conquerors Donegal up against the Rebels? A win for your beloved Cork Shaun?
Donegal looked vulnerable in the last 10 minutes of that Kerry game. This will be the first time the northerners will meet a team that will match them in the physical stakes. I think Cork have the better forwards and should take it by 3 or 4 points.
Speaking of the rebel county, they are also still involved in the hurling where they face Anthony Cunningham's Galway. Interesting point there from RobBlackmore below. Is it time for Sean Og to move on?
No way you saw in the second half of the Waterford game what a great player Sean Og is. His experience along with Tom Kenny in such a young side on Sunday is of vital importance to the Rebels.
Seems Colie agrees with you Shaun. How do you see the young lads, Lehane, Coughlan and O'Farrell coping on Sunday?
They are short of Croke Park experience all right and it will be interesting to see how they cope with a Galway side who know hurlings greatest stage well. I think they will rise to it though.
Galway's boss, Anthony Cunningham has done a great job, notably that Leinster final win over the Cats. He has also brought in some youngsters and seems to have got the right blend with the experienced lads. Can you see Joe Canning guiding them past the Rebels?
Its good to see Lehane back in the side also after he was ill for the quarter-final.
@Ciaran What do you think will win it for Galway?
@Shaun Cronin Also good to see Luke O'Farrell back after his ankle injury. Were you at the game when it happened Shaun?
Its a tough one really, this is Galway's first semi-final since 2005 but I have no doubt if they play like they did against Kilkenny they will overpower Cork. Cunningham has done a brilliant delivering their historic first Leinster title but they want more in the west.
Will the long break do Galway any favours?
Ya Pete, that was in 2008 when he was still a Cork minor. I can remember it very well, it was right at the end of Senior hurling league match in his home club of Midleton. It looked like a simple tangle of legs and he went over but you could tell something very wrong, his studs caught in the grass breaking his ankle. His recovery has been remarkable, he is carrying 12 pins and two plates in that leg yet he has been in great form this summer brilliant to see him back to his best.
@Ciaran Maybe that is where Galway will fall down Ciaran. They haven't been in a semi-final for 6-7 years so obviously need to build on their consistency.
Hard to judge Pete it helped Cork in the football last week but hurling is a momentum game and Cork are carrying it all coming into Sunday.
@Ciaran Whereas Cork have been close for a number of years now and already expect a certain level of consistency....
@Shaun Cronin But wouldn't the win over Kilkenny give Galway loads of belief, vital especially for the young lads.
Oh it will for sure and they have had Cork's number in recent years. They battered them in the Gaelic Grounds last year 2-23 to 1-14 and beat them by 4 points in the League this season. You have to have them as favourites.
@Shaun Cronin Ciaran reckons that Galway's forwards will cause loads of trouble for the Cork defence. Do you see the same happening on the opposite end of the field?
Yes and No, Cork have the forwards to trouble any team but the Rebels biggest problem is primary possession, they don't win enough puck outs and teams are now targeting Pa Cronin because they know thats where the ball is going to be pucked to. I can see that Galway half back line getting on top there.
@Shaun Cronin Would that not be something for Jimmy Barry-Murphy to change? If you only have one target at puck-outs, then you aren't going to get up the pitch much.....
Unfortunately Cork don't really have natural ball winners it's a problem for sure.
So will we see more of the short-ball game from Cork and will this play into Galway's hands?
Cork will have to use it well to have a chance. Can see Galway going direct into Canning. Young McDonnell will have a job on his hands if he is the man marking Joe. Sean Og while I was praising him earlier has always had trouble with Damien Hayes also.
It sounds like you aren't too sure of a Cork win Shaun. Is it Galway for you on Sunday?
Yep going for Galway in a journalistic capacity but I think you know who I will be shouting for!
Well whoever wins, I am sure it will be a close one and a great game. Here's to some great hurling and, away from GAA, a big congratulations to Katie Taylor on her Olympic gold and all the other Irish competitors too. They have brightened up our summer along with the GAA.