THERE was pre-match drama in Parnell Park last Saturday afternoon.
Referee, Alan Lagrue, was given a straight red card . . . before the Dublin-Kilkenny clash!
Characters from The Simpsons had invaded the pitch. And after sending off the ref, they proceeded to give a third-man tackle to Dublin selector, John Treacy!
The famous television family then blew their horns for the duration of the contest.
It was like the sound of the 2010 World Cup vuvuzelas had arrived at the Dublin HQ.
The sun was splitting the timber, and there was a real buzz surrounding the occasion.
Seamus Massey was on Parnell FM. There were mini-games at half-time. There was a nice crowd in. They were treated to a neat match programme.
There were Player profiles. Dublin's Grainne Quinn said her sporting idol was Katie Taylor.
Her team-mate, Sarah O'Donovan, named Roy Keane as her sporting favourite.
Kilkenny's Edwina Keane also went for Katie Taylor, while Ann Dalton selected Messi.
The Cats reached last year's All-Ireland final. In Katie's language, they had Cork on the ropes.
They were welcomed onto the capital turf by the children waving their blue flags.
And within seconds of the first whistle, those flags were dancing again as Louise O'Hara went on a solo down the right wing towards the church end.
Another Championship season had begun for this most remarkable player.
Still cheering up the city after all these years. The summer in Dublin wouldn't be the same without her.