And so we are down to just four in the race to win Liam MacCarthy. Last year brought us two gripping semi-finals, with Kilkenny just getting the better of Waterford after a replay and Tipperary seeing off Galway by the bare minimum.
I have no doubt that the upcoming semis will give is more thrills and spills and for the third year on the trot Tipperary and Galway are to lock horns again on Sunday next at Croke Park.
It just over three months since Galway demolished Tipp in the league final. I know it will give Micheál Donoghue's side an awful lot of confidence that they beat their rivals in a national final - and beat them very, very comprehensively. A huge positive.
As a result, Tipperary know how good this Galway team are, but Tipp's attitude will be totally different on Sunday next. I know it's a cliche, but league and championship are completely different beasts. In terms of intensity, physicality and raw emotion, the championship is a big step up.
"Galway will get the ultimate test on Sunday. If they come through, they will then be roaring hot favourites going into an All-Ireland final"
It's been a point either way between the sides in the last two years and it probably will be just as close again. What happened at the end of April counts for little now.
Much praise has been heaped on Galway this last few months, but they've been relatively untested in their march to Leinster glory. In fact, they won a a very soft Leinster title.
Apart from the game against Cork, Tipperary's passage to this stage has been straightforward enough. It was a poor enough Clare side they faced the last day.
That said, they are coming to the boil at the right time, their big players like Seamus Callanan, the two McGrath brothers, John O’Dwyer and Patrick Maher are now hitting their stride.
Galway will get the ultimate test on Sunday. If they come through, they will then be roaring hot favourites going into an All-Ireland final.
Both teams are coming into the game very fresh and this will add to the whole spectacle, atmosphere and intensity to the occasion.
Much has been said and written about the weakness in the Tipperary full-back line and much fair comment at that.
I don't know the background to why Cathal Barrett is no longer involved with the squad. I fully expected Cathal, an All Star from last year, to be back. Indeed, I heard a rumour he was back training, but then Michael Ryan came out and said under no circumstances would there be any changes to the panel.
It's a decision that could come back to haunt Michael.
I thought Donagh Maher was exceptional at corner back against Clare. No issues there.
"If Tipperary are to win this game, they will have to go with as close to the team that won last year's All-Ireland"
Tipp should now reinstate James Barry at full-back. He was brilliant in that position last year and won an All Star. Why he was moved is a mystery to me.
I think Tomás Hamill lacks those gears for inter-county hurling. I just don’t think he has the pace and for me that’s what this Tipperary team needs on Sunday up against the likes of Jason Flynn, Cathal Mannion and Conor Whelan. That trio are blessed with pace.
And then we have Connor Cooney at the edge of the square for Galway. We all saw the damage he did to Wexford in the Leinster final. For me James Barry is the man to keep an eye on Cooney, who again expect to start at full-forward.
If Tipperary are to win this game, they will have to go with as close to the team that won last year's All-Ireland.
I would have a full-back line of Donagh Maher, James Barry and, in the other corner, Michael Cahill, who has the pace that can keep tabs on Galway's front line.
Who will prevail?
There will come a time in this semi-final when Galway will put themselves in a position to win. It will be interesting to see what leaders step up at that juncture?
They have put themselves in positions in the past to win All-Ireland finals and guys just didn’t grab it by the scruff of the neck and push on.
For experience alone, I think Tipperary will win on Sunday. It won’t be by any more than two or three points but, as I said earlier I think they are coming to the boil at the right time.
Even after their loss to Cork, I felt they would still have a big say.
Galway and Tipperary (4pm) is live on RTÉ 2 and RTÉ Radio 1, with a live blog on RTE Sport Online and the News Now App from 2.00pm.