It’s been an unforgettable summer of hurling thus far in 2018.
The introduction of the round-robin series in the Munster and Leinster hurling championships led to the increased frequency of often dramatic and nail-biting encounters.
It didn’t stop there and as we entered the All-Ireland stage of the championship we were greeted with some excellent quarter-final and semi-final matchups.
All of this has been against the backdrop of a severely underwhelming football championship which will likely culminate in Dublin securing their fourth successive All-Ireland title without leaving second gear.
This has been the narrative and it’s backed up by statistics when you consider the attendance for the All-Ireland football and hurling semi-finals which were all played at Croke Park.
According to The Herald, 2018 was the first year since 2009 in which the combined attendance of the two hurling semi-finals surpassed the combined attendance of the two football semi-finals.
The combined attendance of the two football semi-finals this year was 104,213 [54,717 for Dublin v Galway and 49,496 for Tyrone v Monaghan].
Meanwhile, the draw between Galway and Clare and the dramatic extra-time epic between Cork and Limerick secured a combined attendance of 125,264.
As we look set for another gripping encounter on Sunday when Galway and Limerick battle it out for the All-Ireland title, the football championship looks in need of some tinkering and this is backed up by this year’s attendances.