The focus turned to football in the club championship this week, with the Ulster SHC final the only small ball game on the slate. There was some very strong performances amongst some of the big hitters, with Dr Crokes and Corofin looking especially impressive.
With each passing week, we are getting a better picture of who will be contenders come the business end of the competitions. While the ground may be getting softer, the quality of teams is on the up. Here are five things we learned from the club GAA weekend.
1. Paul Mannion Is The Best Footballer In The Country At The Moment
Paul Mannion was on absolute fire once again as Kilmacud dispatched of Meath's Dunboyne on a scoreline of 2-17 to 0-7 yesterday. He registered a magnificent personal tally of 2-6, and his side are the big favourites in Leinster at the moment.
Mannion was a pivotal player in the Dublin team team this year, and his form has only got better for his club. It is hard to argue against him being the premier footballer in the country at the moment, and he looks as though he will carry Kilmacud deep into the club championship.
2. Ballintubber Can Actually Score!
We argued last week that Ballintubber would have to up their scoring output if they were to compete for the provincial title this year, and that is exactly what they did.
Having only put up 0-6 (with one point from play) in their win against Sligo's Tourlestrane last week, they notched a much healthier 3-11 in the win over Aughawillan. They might well have to put up an even bigger score in the final if they are to claim their first ever Connacht title, but this was most definitely a step in the right direction.
3. The Galway Championship Is Not Low On Quality, Corofin Are Just That Good
Many people have criticised the quality on show in the Galway Championship, with Corofin notching a number of easy victories during the year. Even the final, which was won after a replay, was given as an example due its low-scoring nature.
However Corofin showed yesterday that the vast majority of teams in the country would struggle to cope with them, hammering Roscommon's Clann na Gael 4-22 to 0-7. While it may seem that there is a lack of quality teams in Galway, Corofin are just that good.
4. It Is Incredibly Difficult To Win Consecutive Provincial Titles
Defending champions Moorefield bowed out of the Leinster Championship yesterday at the hands of Portlaoise, bringing to an end their hope of winning consecutive provincial titles for the first time. This results means that only one of the four football provincial championship winners from last year (Corofin) remain in this year's competition.
Nemo Rangers and Slaughtneil, winners of the Munster and Ulster crowns last year respectively, both failed to advance from within their own county. With the huge level of competition in club football at the moment, it is proving incredibly difficult to put together a sustained run of dominance.
5. Dr Crokes Are The Team To Beat
Dr Crokes look absolutely unstoppable at the moment, and it would take a brave person to bet against them claiming their third All-Ireland crown on St Patrick's day. They easily dispatched of Cork's St Finbarr's, scoring an astounding 5-20 despite the torrential Killarney rain.
Amazingly, all 5-20 came from open play. They played some absolutely scintillating football at times, with scores such as this one from Daithí Casey a regular occurrence.
A second goal for Dr Crokes scored by Daithí Casey. pic.twitter.com/u0X0EYcO13
— The GAA (@officialgaa) November 11, 2018
With continuous questions over the future of Gaelic football, attacking play is certainly alive and well in Kerry.