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hurling

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Ah, Liam. Putting the Irish spirit into all of us.

Na Piarsaigh hurling team are playing against Ruairí Óg Cushendall in Croke Park tomorrow for the All Ireland Club final.

And Ruairí Óg Cushendall has recrutied one very famous man – Liam Neeson.

Apparently Liamo was a bit of a hurler back in the day and even played on the St Patrick's team in Ballymena. 

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Several reports from the UK this weekend suggest that two high-profile Premier League footballers are preparing to come out as gay.

There are currently no openly homosexual athletes playing in the sport’s top tier in England.

One story in The Mirror today states that the players – one of whom is an English international – feel that the time is right, and that there is a far better climate of acceptance now.

The newspapers also says that the players are eager to make the announcement before the beginning of next season.

Almost every other major sport, from hurling to rugby, has had players speak openly about their sexuality and continue their careers without any major disruption.

However, professional football in the UK has yet to be tested in the same way.

Former Aston Villa player Thomas Hitzlsperger said he was gay after he retired in 2014 and Robbie Rogers [pictured above] quit the game after saying he was gay in 2012 before returning to the sport. He now plays for LA Galaxy alongside Robbie Keane.

The Mirror also reports that one well-known player told friends he was gay in 2011 but his car was them daubed with a homophobic slur.

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On Sunday September 6, the long-awaited Irish sporting event of the year takes place at Croke Park.

The All-Ireland hurling final will see fans from all corners of the country doing their very best to get their hands on tickets to the big match.

Yes, Kilkenny and Galway fans – as well as just hurling fans in general – are all sure to be trying their hardest to get to Croke Park on the big day.

However, if the struggle just cannot be overcome and those tickets just cannot be found (yes, the struggle is real), we may have stumbled upon the perfect solution.

The good people at ODEON cinemas have paired up with the GAA to ensure that no fan feels left out on the big day. In fact, ODEON are giving people the chance to see all the action of the big day for free at a number of their cinemas around the country.

Free (yes, FREE!) tickets for the event are available online now at GAA.tickets.ie and screens will open at 3pm on the big day.

ODEON Cinemas said of the initiative today: “We look forward to welcoming and seeing our screens full of colour with proud supporters of Galway and Kilkenny in their jerseys, but leave the hurleys and sliotars at home!

“We expect that GAA fans from all counties will take advantage of this free family day out across all of our cinemas."

While Kilkenny play for their the Championship title for the 36th time, underdogs Galway haven’t held the title since 1988, so there’s no doubt going to be some enthusiastic supporters around the nation.

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The true GAA experience is unique to Ireland – and we should be proud of it! Here are some things you will only ever hear at a GAA match:

1. “Who won the Minor?”
Usually heard before the start of a big championship match, it is tradition for the minor (U18) match to be a curtain raiser for the senior match. Daniel Radcliffe is one celebrity who has a keen interest in the All-Ireland Minor Football Championship.

Daniel Radcliffe.JPG2. “Ah ref ye bollocks”
Pretty self-explanatory.

referee3.“Two hands!”
Only said at a hurling match, if a man goes down to pick the ball up with only one hand on his hurl and doesn’t succeed, this is considered one of the cardinal sins of the sport.

canning4.“Pull on it!”
Again, unique to hurling. If there’s a bit of a scuffle in the middle of the pitch around the ball and nobody can pick it up, the most popular opinion in the crowd at this stage is to “pull on it”. Translation: Swing at the ball on the ground as hard as you can in the direction of the other team’s goal.

ground hurling5. “One of ye!”
Only one man on a team should go for a high ball at any one time. If more than one goes up for it and the team end up losing the ball, there is a chorus of this phrase heard from the crowd.

catch6. “Breaking ball!”
Again to do with the high ball. This refers to when the ball is not caught clean by one of the guys going up for it, and becomes up for grabs between the surrounding players. Winning the ‘breaking ball’ is considered to be one of the most important parts of gaelic football.

Kerry v Armagh - All Ireland Football Final7. “Go down on it!”
The difference between gaelic football and soccer is that you can pick the ball up, and players are expected to do so at the first opportunity.

ogaraskill8. “Take your point!”
As most of you know, goals are worth three points in GAA. The problem with this is that as a result, some players feel the need to always go for goals, even if they have an opportunity to put the ball over the bar.

point9. “Goal was on…”
This is the opposite to the previous point, where there actually was an opportunity to score a goal, but instead the player decided to go for the easy option and score a point.

goal10. “Get an umpire down there!”
When a point is given and the other team disagrees with that decision, the solution is to get their own umpire down there to even things up. Only heard at club matches where hawkeye is not available.

hawkeye11. “Will you do umpire?”
Of course when an umpire is needed, nobody wants to do it, because you miss out on the craic on the sideline.

who_me12. “Ah Ref that’s a black card”
A new phrase this year with the introduction of the new card. The black is given to a player if they commit a certain type of cynical foul, and it means that they have to be substituted off for the rest of the game. The problem is that people haven’t quite got the grasp of what types of foul warrant a black card, and this results in the supporters wanting a black card for every foul that the other team commits.

seancavanaghrugbytackle13. “Somebody hit him!”
Surprisingly, supporters are not asking one of their team to punch the guy with the ball. They are instead asking someone to tackle the guy who has ran unopposed for 80 yards down the pitch, and is now bearing down on their goal.

shoulder14. “I hear he’s flying in training”
If a new player is starting a match and supporters are confused as to why, in 99% of cases this is the reason given.

shane-odonnell

15. “Ah sure we’ll go in for a look”

Because nothing tastes better after a GAA match than a pint. Or 12.

obama pint

via our content partner CT

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