After a summer that produced pulse racing and thrilling hurling, now only one match remains. The biggest of them all. Next Sunday, the pitch will be ready, the stands will be filled and it will be game on for the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final.
The Tribesmen of Galway will have to battle it out with the Treatymen of Limerick. For Galway, they will line out and attempt to win back to back titles, as they are the current reigning champions. As for Limerick, it will be their first All-Ireland appearance in 11 years.
If you are one of the lucky ones headed to GAA HQ on the 19th of August, here are some simple Do’s and Don’ts for the big day!
Do get a head start
GAA Match day can be madness and All-Ireland Final Day isn’t any different. With Galway and Limerick both playing, if you are coming from the west of the country, your journey could take over three hours. So set those alarms and get on the road early – make the most of it! After all the early bird catches the worm!
Do wear your county colours
One of the best parts of All-Ireland Final Day is seeing the sea of colour that fills out Croke Park. On the road to Croker, you will see everyone in their jerseys, with hats, flags, headbands – the works! Whether it is green and white or maroon and white, show your support and dawn your county colours. It all adds to the occasion!
Do sing Amhrán na bhFiann
The sound of our national anthem being sung out by 82,000 people will put chills up your spine. Clear your lungs and sing it out loud and proud. The round of applause and cheers that come after is worth it! Ina dhiaidh trí, a haon, a dó, a trí…
Do respect the band, the flagbearers and the halftime games
For children, your county making the All-Ireland final is the stuff of dreams. If you are given the chance to take part in the half-time games or to be a flagbearer, well it’s a dream come true. Acknowledge their big day and give them a massive cheer.
Likewise, always respect the band. They create a brilliant atmosphere as they march the teams round before throw in. You can only imagine the practice that has gone into preparing for the All-Ireland Final, so do show your appreciation with an enormous round of applause too.
Do raise your voice
There may have been a time in your life that you would have been told to bite your tongue. This does not apply on All-Ireland Final Day. Show your support for your team with words of encouragement – it can really drive them on!
Don’t be unprepared
For such a big occasion like the All-Ireland Final, it will take a lot of planning. Know your driving route and where there is parking available. Book your train or bus ticket well advance. Get to bed early and have your picnic packed. And do not forget the tickets!
Don’t boo the free-taker
No matter how matches these players play, there must be a few extra nerves on All-Ireland Final Day. As for the free-taker on the panel, there is always that bit of added pressure as well.
For Galway’s Joe Canning and Limerick’s Aaron Gillane, they have the responsibility of getting the ball to split the post. It is not an easy task, so give the free-taker the respect that they deserve.
Don’t be afraid to show your passion
If you have never experienced Croke Park at its full captivity, prepare yourself for it. Thousands of people shouting support for their team as the noise rings around the stadium.
GAA fans are very passionate people, so it’s ok to become engrossed in the game and so your support from the sidelines. ‘C’mon!’
Don’t leave until it is over
Not under any circumstances, just don’t do it! If we learnt anything from the Hurling Championship this summer, it is that you just don’t know what is going to happen. Did you see the two Semi-Finals?
Injury time can last well over five minutes, which is enough for anything to happen, especially in Hurling when the game moves at the speed of light!
It is these moments towards the very end, that can be the most exhilarating and thrilling. So sit tight, and wait for the final whistle!
Don’t give up hope if your team lose
Two teams will line out, both as hungry as the other to be crowned All-Ireland Champions. At the end of the day, only one team can take Liam MacCarthy home.
The pain of losing An-Ireland must be unbearable, but do not lose hope in your team. They need your support.
Be proud of your county and where you are from, it can make all the difference!
Throw in of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final is at 15:30 on the 19th of August in Croke Park. Tickets are now on sale.
Littlewoods Ireland are proud sponsors of the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. Keep yourself up to date with all the #StyleOfPlay action this weekend on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts!