GAA 2023 SEASON PREVIEW
Spring is in the air, you wouldn’t know it if you look outside, but the GAA 2023 season getting underway should help lift the gloom. Once again free live streaming of GAA will be available on RTE Sport for Irish internet users.
The 2023 Gaelic Games season is underway and we are rapidly approaching the beginning of the 2023 All Ireland Football and Hurling Championships. As usual, we will be giving you week-by-week previews of all the action right here at Liberty Shield.
Before the Championships begin though, there is the not-so-insignificant matter of finishing up the National League campaign in both codes.
Let’s start on the Hurling side where we have four finals being played this week, but interestingly not the division one final which will have its own showcase next week, on Easter Sunday at Pairc Ui Chaoimh in the people’s capital of Cork. Limerick will take on Kilkenny in what will hopefully provide another shiny example of why Hurling is the most enjoyable sport to watch anywhere in the world.
This weekend we that the finals in Division 2A, 2B, 3A, and 3B, and while some likely won’t be the best examples of the sport played at the highest level, they should still be exciting and represent perhaps the biggest game some players will experience in their inter-county careers.
The Division 2A Final will take place at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, and see Kildare take on Offaly. These sides met in round five of the campaign and played out a highly entertaining draw at Glenisk O’Connor Park in Tullamore. That was the game that either side failed to win, and guaranteed Kildare a direct path to the final due to a superior scoring differential across their five games.
Offaly had to face third-place Kerry in the semi-final to earn a rematch with Kildare, and despite a good performance from the men from the Kingdom, it was those from The Faithful County who triumphed and set up Sunday’s match.
In Division 2B, the mighty men of Meath will take on Donegal at Pairc Sean Mac Diarmuda in Carrick-On-Shannon. Meath were perfect through the campaign, winning all five of their matches, with only London causing them problems in the final game. They dispatched Donegal by 10 points when the sides met at Pairc Tailteann in Navan in Round 3, and will be hoping for a similar result this time around.
Donegal, for their part, finished third in the division losing to Meath and Wicklow. That set them up for a semi-final against Wicklow, in which they gained revenge by the narrowest of scorelines. They will seek more revenge this Sunday against the Royal County.
Division 3A brings us to Pairc Tailteann in the magnificent town of Navan, where Roscommon will take on Armagh. The Rossies topped the Division Armagh and Monaghan, beating and drawing with both Mayo and Fermanagh. Draws are rare in Hurling, so to manage two in five games is strangely impressive. They suffered their only defeat against Louth in what was something of an upset. To beat the teams who finished second and third, lose to the team who finished fifth, and draw with the teams who finished fourth and sixth is a very strange campaign.
Armagh finished second in the group, beating Louth, Mayo, and Fermanagh while losing to Roscommon and Monaghan. They managed to get revenge on Monagh with an impressive shellacking in the semi-final and will seek to do the same against the team from the West.
Lastly, the Division 3B final takes us to the unusual, and somewhat unexplainable venue of the National Games Development Centre, in Abbotstown. Why the game is being played here is anybody’s guess as surely a venue like Cusack Park in Mullingar or Pearse Park in Longford would have made more sense for a game between Cavan and Leitrim. Having these two teams, and their fans, travel to County Dublin for the game makes no sense.
Cavan topped the table and earned the automatic spot in the final, with wins over Longford, Warwickshire, and Leitrim, but were surprisingly beaten by Lancashire.
Leitrim, for their part, beat Warwickshire, Lancashire, and Longford while losing to Cavan. They finished second and had to overcome Longford for the second time in a week.
This is likely to be a low-quality game. Neither are counties generally associated with Hurling, but it’s a fantastic moment for the players involved. It’s just a shame it’s not being played in a stadium more fitting of a final.
Shifting our attention to football, all four Divisions will have their final played this weekend as Croke Park welcomes eight counties for four games across two days. Unlike in Hurling, there is no semi-final to navigate in League play. It’s a straight league campaign and the top two teams meet in the final.
Not only that but whereas the Hurling finals carry the double prize of a trophy and promotion, in Football both sides are certain of promotion so the trophy and pride are the double prize.
On Saturday we begin with Sligo vs Wicklow in the Division 4 final, kicking off at 5 pm. Sligo topped the group with six wins from seven games, losing only to Laois in their opening game before rattling off a very impressive winning streak. They will hope to carry that form, and the confidence they have gained from those wins, into Saturday’s final.
Wicklow’s path wasn’t as straightforward. They began with a draw against Carlow, before losing their only game of the campaign to Sligo. Another draw, this time with Wexford, threatened to cost them their spot in the final but luckily for them, Laois lost to Leitrim and Wicklow survived in second place.
Following that game, in a 7:15 throw-in, we get the Division 3 final between Fermanagh and Cavan. Exciting times for Cavan, with finals in both codes and the potential of a double promotion for the county.
Fermanagh topped the group, winning six of their seven games losing only to Offaly in the second round of games. They clinched top spot with a win over Cavan in the Final round and if that game is anything to go by, this should be a hard-fought game between the two Ulster rivals.
That defeat to Fermanagh was Cavan’s second of the group, following their defeat by Antrim in the prior round of games. Cavan looked very much like the team to beat through the first five games but seemed to run out of gas and losing to Antrim came as a surprise because Antrim had been considered likely relegation candidates before the game. They will fancy their chances against Fermanagh in a rematch but much will depend on what manager Mickey Graham has done to help his team recover their energy levels.
On Sunday, the festivities recommence at 1:45 with the Division 2 final between Derry and Dublin, a game that is fitting for any occasion. These are both sides that belong in Division 1, and both are teams who will believe they are strong contenders to win this year’s All-Ireland Championship. Last season both triumphed in their respective provinces and ended the year as losing All Ireland semi-finalists.
Derry topped Division 2 unbeaten, winning their first six games before drawing with Cork when they had already secured their spot in the final. Those six wins, of course, included a win over Dublin. A single-point victory in Derry in week four will give the northern side belief that they can overcome the team who has dominated the Gaelic Football scene for the past decade, but they will likely need to up their game on the wide-open expanses of Dublin’s home pitch.
For their part, that defeat to Derry was the only blemish on Dublin’s record. They defeated Kildare, Limerick, Cork, Clare, Meath, and Louth and in truth were a class above most of them. These two are undoubtedly the pick of the field in Division 2 and with both certain of promotion, they will almost certainly be instant contenders to win Division 1 next year.
Lastly, in the showcase game of the weekend, a 4 pm kickoff will see Connacht rivals Mayo and Galway come face to face.
Neither side had a straightforward path to the final, with both winning four games, drawing twice, and suffering a single defeat on their journey.
For Mayo, who topped the group, the campaign began with a draw against this Sunday’s opposition which they followed up with another draw against Armagh. They got themselves moving in the right direction with very impressive wins over the last two All Ireland winners, Tyrone and Kerry, before edging past another rival in Roscommon. Victory over Donegal came next to clinch their spot in the final, before a defeat by Monaghan wrapped up their campaign.
After their draw with Mayo, Galway would lose to Roscommon before beating Tyrone and drawing with Donegal. They did not look like a team capable of reaching the final through those first four games, but they bounced back with three straight wins over Monaghan, Armagh, and Kerry. That win over Kerry gave them a modicum of revenge for the defeat they suffered in last year’s All-Ireland final.
This one promises to be an excellent game, but in truth, all four games over plenty of excitement and the Sunday games in particular should be fantastic.
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Gaelic Football and Hurling are two of the most exciting and entertaining sports in the world. The GAA has largely done a good job at staging them. They’ve made them a spectacle. But they’ve also priced out the fans at times, and made controversial decisions with regards to broadcasting rights. If you’re outside of the Republic of Ireland and want to watch the matches on RTE player, the GAA don’t want you to be able to, unless you invest in the very expensive GAA GO subscription service. Obviously those with an Irish internet service (in Ireland), will be able to access the RTE Player and have uninterrupted access from anywhere.
How to watch every GAA 2023 games from anywhere…
Games from the GAA 2023 season will be streamed live on the RTE Player website, as well as their respective apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Smart TV, Now TV, FireTV etc.
Jacqui Hurley has been named as the new Sunday Game presenter as RTE unveil GAA 2023 punditry line-up. The 39-year-old will replace Des Cahill as host after he stepped down from the role last year, stating that he had become ‘frustrated’ in the job.
RTE have also announced that Damian Lawlor will host The Saturday Game, while Joanne Cantwell will present The Saturday Game Live and The Sunday Game Live.
Other new additions see Joe Canning join the hurling team, with Tyrone legend Peter Canavan, Dublin’s four-time All-Star Paul Flynn, the recently retired Lee Keegan, the all-time leading scorer in the Allianz League, David Tubridy of Clare, as well as Tyrone’s Enda McGinley all joining the line-up, as well as the return of Kerry’s Tomás Ó’Sé.
Dónal Óg Cusack, Liam Sheedy, Anthony Daly, Brendan Cummins, Ursula Jacob, Jackie Tyrell, Shane Dowling, John Mullane, Shane McGrath, Brian Carroll, Michael Duignan, Elaine Aylward, Colm Gooch Cooper, Sean Cavanagh, Cora Staunton, Eamonn Fitzmaurice, Noelle Healy, Ciaran Whelan, Eamon O’Hara, Conleith Gilligan and John Casey all return.
But these streaming services are not available to everyone, for example when you load RTE Player in the USA, Germany, UK, Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal, Australia, Dubai, Canada etc. you will get an error message.
We’re sorry but RTE Player is currently only available to viewers in the Republic of Ireland and Norther Ireland.
This is basically because their streaming services are geoblocked based on the IP address being used to access it. You must be a Irish domestic web user to access RTE Player and RTE Sport live tv streaming.
- Get an Irish IP address for GAA 2023 season
- If you want to watch on your Windows PC, Mac, FireTV, iPhone, iPad or Android then you can get a UK Proxy or VPN Apps from Liberty Shield, FREE for 48 hours and then from only £8.99 per month.
- Prefer to watch on supported media streaming devices like Now TV, Smart TVs, Apple TV, Xbox, PS4, Roku etc? You’ll need a UK configured VPN Router setup as Irish, available from only £22.99 with Worldwide Shipping available.
Furthermore; RTE Player isn’t the only geographically-censored streaming services a VPN or Proxy will allow you to access. Other Irish services like TV3 and TG4 are also available. Plus with the option to switch to our USA service whenever you like, you can access Hulu, HBO GO, Netflix and Pandora. Essentially you can access international content from virtually anywhere!