It’s not just always about the performance on the field of play.

It is sometimes those who capture the images of the players that are as important a part in building the story as the players themselves.

We are visual creatures and while the excitement of a live event is crucial to the making of champions, getting to know them in the quieter moments away from the white-hot heat of competition can become a crucial part of why we cheer.

In modern hurling that is especially the case where the players on the weekend have their heads wrapped in a plastic helmet and the sight of them only apparent before and after the whistle is blown.

This Saturday four counties go into battle for the two remaining Semi-Final spots in the All Ireland Championship.

Ronan Maher from Tipperary, Tim O’Mahoney from Cork, Stephen Bennet from Waterford and Paddy Smyth from Dublin have all tased victory and defeat in this year’s search for the Liam McCarthy Cup. For two this weekend the journey will continue and for two it will end.

As part of the build-up the team of excellent photographers from Sportsfile were sent to capture images that give us insight into the players rather than just the player.

Sam Barnes in Dublin and Eoin Noonan in Tipperary chose water as part of the backdrop while Eoin’s short skip down to Waterford and Piaras Ó Mídheach in Cork went moodier for the portraits of Bennet and O’Mahoney.

Will that be seen as foreshadowing the outcomes on Saturday…

 

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