Early fare has not pleased, exactly

Early fare has not pleased, exactly
The hurling and Gaelic football championships are in full flow, but some of the negative comments coming from a variety of sources are disappointing.

The hurling and Gaelic football championships are in full flow, but some of the negative comments coming from a variety of sources are disappointing.

Most of the negativity is emanating from within the GAA. One would think that one-sided games had not occurred previously, but unfortunately it happens at this time of year.

Let’s start with Gaelic football. Not every county in Ulster is capable of winning the Anglo Celt Cup, but the province is the only one to offer a real competitive championship.

Every game is played with intensity and while Donegal remains odds-on to retain the title, there may be a surprise or two in store.

London is proving to be the surprise packets in Connacht. They will travel to Carrick-on-Shannon with genuine hopes that they can defeat the home side in the semi-final.

While that semi-final offers a rare opportunity to reach a Connacht final, I suspect that the Connacht Council may be more than a little concerned with the way the championship has evolved.

This is not a reflection on either Leitrim or London, both of which are as fully entitled to reach the decider.

Lob-sided draw

The Connacht final is usually the primary source of match income for the ’Council, but once this year’s championship draw placed the three strongest teams on the same side what has now transpired was always a possibility.

The second semi between Mayo and Roscommon will see last year’s All-Ireland finalists as strong favourites, but the unpredictable Rossies are never without hope.

Still, the odds are heavily stacked in favour of Mayo winning. They appear to have learned from last year’s All-Ireland defeat judging by their easy dismissal of Galway.

Despite what may be said publically, I am sure the Munster Council is breathing a sigh of relief that there will be a Cork versus Kerry provincial final.

The rout suffered by the other four teams was not pleasant and despite the excellent progress made by Tipperary at under-age level, I do not expect much to change in the years ahead. While Leinster will have a number of competitive games, Dublin appears to be way ahead of the rest.

The Dubs play Kildare in Croke Park next. Maybe someday the present Kildare side will rise above the mediocrity which has been their hallmark for too long.

The Dubs are flamboyant and bring so much to the GAA, but I would dearly like to see Kildare win a title.

Meath may not be the force of yesteryear but be in no doubt they are the one county Dublin never relish playing.

What is it about this great rivalry that continues to bring the best out of both counties?

What the current football championship has shown to date is the widening gap in standards. Many counties appear out of their depth at senior level.

Now we hear that players are heading to the US when their county loses its opening round game. It is difficult to criticise the players, but it raises questions about the Qualifiers.

Every county hopes that the Qualifiers will resurrect their season.

It does happen occasionally, but for many players their 2013 championship prospects are quickly fading.

The one-sided games are pushing the focus back on the provincial championship structuress.

There is no prospect of any changes on that front for the foreseeable future.