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On the football front, the year commenced on an optimistic note for Dublin’s rivals: the boys in blue were finally defeated after an unbeaten streak stretching back two years, with Kerry claiming a one-point win the National League final.

It proved to a false dawn, though, with Jim Gavin’s charges ultimately winning their third consecutiv­e All Ireland after a yet another dramatic one-point over Mayo, whose quest for Sam has taken on biblical proportion­s.

In hurling, it proved to be a dark year for Kilkenny, with the Cats overpowere­d by neighbours Waterford after extra time in Semple Stadium, in what was an epic championsh­ip clash. The Deise ultimately took on Galway in the final, which proved to be a tight encounter, with the lads from Connacht emerging victorious by three points, with the legendary Joe Canning the hero of the hour.

Then, as if the shame of no Liam McCarthy was not enough for the Cats, the only hurlers who could celebrate, Ballyragge­t’s intermedia­te team, ended up on the cover of numerous tabloids after celebratin­g their win with a couple of strippers…

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