A referee's pain, Gregory's interception and Tipp's revival - a weekend in hurling 4 months ago

A referee's pain, Gregory's interception and Tipp's revival - a weekend in hurling

Brought to you by Centra #WeAreHurling

So good the mentors wanted to join in.

Gregory Kennedy is 11 years retired from Galway hurling. Each passing one has hurt more. It was always going to boil over and after years of holding it in, he eventually cracked on Saturday evening.

And so the hurling championship for 2019 kicked off with an almighty bang.

It's not like it needed Kennedy's intervention. Padraig Walsh was already half way to lighting Nowlan Park up with the catch of a lifetime. Equally amazing in its acrobatics, its fearlessness and its skill.

Speaking of skill. TJ Reid. His goal was a work of Ballyhale art and the swiftness and slickness of its execution was something only the best players can conjure.

That's what separated Kilkenny from Dublin.

If Saturday was teetering, Sunday took off.

Shane O'Donnell arrived back from Harvard with a brain as fast and a touch as sharp while Tony Kelly and Austin Gleeson shot the sun down.

Across the province in Cork it was the turn of Tipperary and the Rebels. The Premier were hungrier. Cathal Barrett was like a terrier just let out of the kennel while Bubbles, Callanan and John McGrath were as scorching as the south west sun.

Then you had Carlow's Marty Kavanagh giving the Galway backs a hiding in Pearse Stadium. They're here to stay now too.

SportsJOE is partnering with Centra this year for the hurling championship and here’s a look at the best coverage from the first weekend.

A referee's pain

Darragh Fitzgibbon didn't spare Kilkenny referee Sean Cleere with a ping to the back of the head and with some late decisions going against them, the Cork crowd felt it was some kind of retribution.

Carlow's rising

"Some development there," is right. "Incredible."

Shane's magic

No sooner is he back in Ireland than he has Noel Connors chasing his tail. O'Donnell is at this stage one of the most lethal forwards in the game.

Gregory's interception

Just look at the faces in the crowd.

Himself and Davy Fitz will have some craic next weekend.

Tipperary are BACK

There's no sight better than John Bubbles O'Dwyer on a point-scoring roll.

Player of the weekend?

He who laughs last, laughs longest

Brought to you by Centra #WeAreHurling