Dublin face Wexford this weekend in the quarter-final of the Leinster hurling Championship
The replay between Clare and Waterford highlighted all that was good about the hurling Championship. Ultra-competitive spirit, the highest quality of skill and technique, as well as a dollop of controversy in the final moments.
For the neutral it is was a welcomed sight also to see two teams in the final that weren't one of the traditional heavyweights of the competition in the form of Kilkenny or Tipperary.
Dublin's David Treacy, on the other hand, admits the emergence of two additional teams to contest the Liam McCarthy in 2016 only makes his life that little bit more difficult.
"You could say that arguably seven or eight teams could win the All-Ireland," he said. "I think it’s all about the run you get in the Championship. It’s the consistency that every team looks for If you get on a run of being hard to beat it stands to you and that will stand to Clare, I think they’re undefeated this year so I think they’re ones to watch for the Championship this year.
"They’ll be very difficult to beat the momentum that they’ve gathered over the two matches, the manner in which they won would have done their confidence a world of good. We’ve got to look out for every team, on their day any team can beat any team. That’s why it’s been so entertaining in recent years.
"It could just take going on a run and not being beaten, some teams nearly seem invincible when they get on those runs. That’s probably why Kilkenny are so good year-on-year. They always have a momentum of matches under their belt that they can win. This is what we’re trying to emulate in this Championship coming.
"I'm not saying do it the hard way and have to play replays, but more matches do help. Teams gel quicker at a higher pace."
David Treacy competes with Kilkenny's Padraig Walsh during Dublin's league campaign. Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan
Cohesion and consistency are the two buzz words that sides look to achieve this summer, but Treacy says Dubs boss Ger Cunningham hasn't been drilling his team with soundbites over the course of the league campaign.
"It’s not something that he’s has been spouting. The thing is every team wants to be consistent and it’s probably frustrating looking in from the outside that one week we’re world beaters and the next week we can be beat by anyone.
"It's something we were working on during the league, we had a good run especially after the Tipp game I thought we put in three really good performances against three good opposition.
"I suppose at the end it was quite flat but we were happy enough with those three performances in a row and if we can build on that and hopefully put that together when you’re in the Championship I think we’ll be happy enough.
"The run of games [in the league] certainly helped, me in terms of sharpness and experience in those games. With the club, there’s a certain onus on the county players to come in and help your team win.
"I thought all those games through the winter really stood to me. In terms of my own form during the league I was happy enough. It was probably the most performances I ever put in in the league, with injuries and me only starting out. Personally I’m happy enough with how it went."
Dublin face Wexford in the quarter-final of the Leinster hurling Championship this weekend and the 26-year-old insists Dublin will be wary of the threat they carry.
"It’ll be the first round of the Championship for them. They’re preparing as much as we are, putting in the same amount of sessions as we are. They’re passionate proud hurling men.
Image: ©INPHO/Ken Sutton
"You know what you’re going to get with Wexford and that’s combative, tough intense hurling. And you could arguably say they could have beaten Waterford. We’re not taking them lightly.
"If you’re caught cold then you’re stuck doing the same thing as last year. It’s the consistency you need to go match after match. If we can get over first Wexford and then we’ll switch the focus, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind with the club championships, but we don’t want to look past Wexford."
Dublin let their campaign get away from them last year, a heavy replay defeat against Galway in the early stages left them ruing the opportunity to take a big scalp early on.
"We had to ask questions of ourselves, we were watching replays and the video analysis. You have to switch the focus straight away or you’ll end up shooting yourself in the foot. It seems like years ago considering everything that happened.
"We would have met on the Monday after and thrashed everything out on how we could have improved. That’s all you can do is pick yourselves up as quick as possible. The next training is always the remedy, you get all the anger or disappointment out then. Then it’s put to bed because you can’t do anything about it."
The game will be played in Croke Park rather than Parnell Park, where Cunningham's side have performed so well over the course of the league.
"I think teams don’t like coming to Parnell, but I don’t know if that makes any difference to us. Croker is a nice pitch that suits our style at the moment, so if you want to play well in the championship you have to play well in Croker.
"We played Cork there and we played very well. We played the Walsh Cup final there and played decent enough. So it’s just about translating these consistent performances. It doesn’t matter about the pitch. We’ve got a lot of fast, fit lads that the ground suits."