by Lár na Pairce
Outrage and disgust at Tipp’s inane antics
AND so following months of rigorous training, strict diets, gym sessions, recovery session and a myriad of other commitments, just two teams remain in the hunt for the All Ireland Senior Hurling title.
Last Sunday Kilkenny blew Tipp away with as clinical a second half performance as has ever been witnessed at headquarters.
However in analysing the game it has to be said that Tipperary adopted crazy tactics commencing with the late arrival for the second half of Lar Corbett and continuing with the aforementioned Corbett following Tommy Walsh around the field in an attempt to escape the clutches of Jackie Tyrell.
These shenanigans totally disoriented the Tipp attack and their second half tally of just five points is ample testimony to this nonsensical approach.
As a life long follower of the game it behoves Lar na Pairce to voice in the strongest possible terms outrage and disgust at the inane antics and carry on of the Tipp team in this game.
Since the foundation of the GAA (IRONICALLY IN Thurles), Tipperary has produced some of the finest hurlers ever to play the game.
On Sunday the likes of English, Fox, Roche, the Doyles, the Leahys, Stakelum, Bannon and Kennedy must have recoiled in horror and disgust at the behaviour of the current standard bearers of such a proud tradition.
It was indeed sad for all of us who love the ancient game to see the current Tipp team besmirch and disgrace the proud tradition that hurling has bestowed on this country. The management team under Declan Ryan must also accept the part they played in this debacle and take the only honourable thing left for them and resign.
Their positions are now untenable.
The Cats for their part continue to hurl simply and effectively and ruthlessly exposed the shortcomings in a Tipp defence where the petulant Padraig Maher was extremely lucky to remain on the field.
Kilkenny now face their Leinster final conquerors, Galway, and, following this display will be overwhelming favourites to even the score.
This writer is of the opinion that the final is by any means a foregone conclusion and if Galway can overcome the invariable distractions that append themselves to finals then they have the hurlers, the physique and the ability to win the title.
Nearer the day we will have an in depth analysis on the game.
Footballers face toughest test
Sunday will hopefully see a respectable exodus of Cork football followers from the county to cheer on the Rebels as they bid to qualify for a fourth final in the last six campaigns, when they face Donegal in the semi final.
To date Cork have done everything asked of them but will undoubtedly face their toughest assignment against the Ulster champions.
This year Donegal have complimented their defensive system with a more attacking style and have posted far bigger scores than heretofore.
In Murphy and McFadden they have proven scorers while Mark McHugh will take a lot of watching.
Karl Lacey, remember his winning point against Kerry, is very dangerous on the break and now that Neill Gallagher is fit the mid field battle wile assume huge significance
Cork though is the type of team that is ideally suited to breaking down the Donegal style of play.
Powerfully strong with scoring forwards, Cork can either steamroll their way through the massed defence and kick the all-important scores.
Or alternatively, with Paul Kerrigan’s pace and Paddy Kelly’s guile they possess the perfect tools to outwit Donegal and force them to come out of their shell thereby leaving space that Donnacha O’Connor, Aidan Walsh and Fintan Goold will thrive on. Width and pace, something Kerry failed to do until the closing minutes when they nearly rescued the game, will stand Cork in good stead on Sunday and should see them through to the decider.
Failure to play to their strengths will leave Cork vulnerable though, and, should they resort to a slow lateral style then Donegal will thrive and will fancy a first final appearance since 1992.
Cork are experienced enough not to fall into that trap and for me will win by four points.
The Cork county senior hurling championship resumed to a cacophony of complaints about the gap between games, a topic we discussed here in our last posting.
Something must be done to restore this once proud competition to its pre imminent place in the sporting calendar as right now it is just trundling along fighting for space amid a crowded inter county fixture list.
At least the Glen and Blackrock retained their senior status with wins over Cloyne and Bride Rovers respectively.
Midleton also advanced but Piarsaigh and Newtown must meet again following an exciting draw in Fermoy.
Unfortunately from all reports, apart from Padraig Goold no new talent emerged to bolster the Cork team.
Bandon meanwhile kept the West Cork flag flying with an impressive win over Carrigaline, as predicted here last week and now face Youghal on Saturday with a place in the final at stake. The momentum built by Bandon should see them through.
Meanwhile Clonakilty defeated O’Mathunas to qualify for the West Cork divisional junior hurling final and will now play either Dohenys or Kilbree, who meet on September 8th.