WELL, the provincial football finals are out of the way now and the path has been cleared for the hurling deciders next Sunday.
And the potential is surely there for two of the best games of the season thus far.
One might suggest that would not be difficult to accomplish given how ordinary, particularly in Munster, the fare has been up to now.
For the first time in quite a while, Leinster has overshadowed its Munster counterpart and three or four of the games up there have been better than anything we have got down here.
Galway and Kilkenny in Nowlan Park was a cracker all the way to the line, Galway coming out of the fortress that had held steady in the championship for 70 years with the victory.
That victory by Miceal O’Donoghue’s men was seen by many as the springboard for another all-out assault on both the Leinster and All-Ireland titles.
However, it was not to be, it was just a false dawn and a week later they were out of everything, the season done after a terrific Dublin performance in Parnell Park had scuttled them.
The best game in both provinces has surely been the drawn encounter in Wexford Park between two of the game’s oldest foes.
Kilkenny and Wexford was captivating viewing on TV, effectively a Leinster semi-final which there was no resolution to.
In fact, rarely if ever has a drawn encounter been celebrated by players, management and supporters alike.
One wonders will it all be so friendly again in Croke Park next Sunday when they try again in what is effectively a replay.
Wexford really need this, much more so probably than the Cats. A Leinster title under Davy Fitzgerald’s watch would add significantly to his achievements in his home county of Clare and in Waterford and it would prove how effective he can be as a team boss, a motivator as good as there is around.
However, failure to win on Sunday and subsequently in the All-Ireland series would probably bring the curtain down on his time in the Model County.
A Leinster title, however, in a province containing Kilkenny, Galway and a Dublin side of considerable prowess too would be a hugely significant achievement and a big feather in Fitzgerald’s cap.
One thing is for sure next Sunday, if it comes to pass, Croke Park will witness some celebrations because, to be fair, these Wexford fans are true fans, in thick or thin they still come out in their droves.
And there will be a huge attendance at headquarters on Sunday, probably for the first time in quite some time exceeding the football decider.
Limerick too will house a massive audience for the home team against Tipp, well over the 40,000 mark and more than making up for the disappointing turnout for the football decider.
And maybe the game will match the attendance with no shadow boxing this time.
Let’s face it, Limerick didn’t put all their eggs into the basket of previous meeting of the sides a fortnight ago.
Just as well probably for Cork because of what transpired in Ennis.
Year in, year out we hear of the pitfalls involved in a team winning its provincial crown, the long wait for an All-Ireland semi-final.
We are told the alternative route might be a better bet.
That’s balderdash in my opinion. You take the route that’s easier and avoid a qualifying game or an All-Ireland quarter-final that would be loaded with minefields Fair enough, it worked out for Limerick last season but that’s not going to happen every time.
What we have now got next Sunday is the potential for two absolutely cracking games, four sides who will be hell-bent on winning And for Cork fans, there will be a lot of interest too in the Croke Park curtain-raiser involving Westmeath and Laois in the first game of the day, the Joe McDonagh Cup final.
Cork will have the losers of that game for company a week later in an All-Ireland qualifier.
The two Leinster teams drew in their final group game last Sunday week but the stakes are much higher now, the winners going into the Leinster championship next season at the expense of Carlow Laois will be favourites under Eddie Brennan but you would not put your house on it.
John Meyler will be keeping an eye on this one.
So, you would be correct in saying that we have a Super Sunday coming up for all hurling fans.
And it’s a near certainty that you won’t have the lopsided games that the Leinster and Ulster football finals produced last Sunday.