The first piece of silverware for the 2017 season was handed out to Kerry when they beat Limerick to claim the McGrath Cup after extra-time two Sundays ago.
This weekend, it was the turn of the other provinces to hand out their pre-season trophies for football and hurling, while the Munster Senior Hurling League final was also decided upon.
Here’s our top five talking points from the weekend that saw many counties put in their final preparations ahead of the National League openers.
5. Cork Claim Munster League Title
An injury time Alan Cadogan goal was the killer blow as Cork beat Limerick 1-21 to 1-20 in the final of the Munster SHL. Trailing 1-16 to 0-15 midway through the second half, the Rebels finished strongly to win the pre-season competition, which was only introduced last year.
While Limerick fans have witnessed many one-point defeats over the years, this run out should stand them in good stead ahead of their crucial league opener – a trip to Wexford Park.
4. Dublin’s Reserves Win O’Byrne Cup
Dublin’s dominance is an issue we have already spoke about at length, both on the site and on the 16th Man podcast. However, this win reaffirms the belief that Dublin’s second string would compete quite well in the All-Ireland series themselves.
The likes of Louth, who Dublin beat in the final, and Kildare, who the Dubs triumphed over the previous weekend know that are quite a bit off the pace in terms of making a fist at winning the Leinster Championship at this early point of the season and when the All-Ireland champions return to full strength, it will take some effort to beat them.
3. Tyrone Keep Winning Record In McKenna Cup
Tyrone claimed a sixth consecutive McKenna Cup title with a comfortable 2-13 to 1-7 win over Derry. Mickey Harte’s side are traditionally strong in January as they look to get things started on the right foot.
Ahead of the NFL campaign and, more importantly, the Ulster Championship, Tyrone are in a decent place with the start of the new season just days away.
2. Galway Claim Honours Out West
The FBD Insurance League was also up for decision at the weekend with Galway getting the better of Roscommon 2-13 to 0-14. Cillian McDaid and Danny Cummins got the goals.
But interestingly, both players failed to end the game with 15 players as the two teams had men black carded after already making six substitutes. Galway open their league campaign against Cork this weekend, while Roscommon face Tyrone.
1. Davy Suffers First Defeat
Wexford have featured a lot in the pre-season talking points after having the most high profile managerial change. However, they tasted defeat for the first time with Davy Fitzgerald on the line as they fell one point short against Kilkenny, 0-15 to 0-14.
The Cats face Galway in the final of the Walsh Cup after the Westerners beat IT Carlow in the other semi-final.
Joel Slattery, Pundit Arena