Transition fought out in the trenches

Often, during the overly critical analytical period which follows an unpalatable defeat, morsels of positivity blowing like tumbleweed in a windswept desert emerge from the most unlikely of corners. For a period following Ireland’s gut wrenching Twickenham tumble, they were hard to locate. Rob Kearney Acceptance that people will make mistakes is as fundamental as the old maxim that paper won’t refuse ink. If an individual has a faux pas once, forgiveness is usually readily available. Another blip, though, and sentiment can hover between the unfortunate suffering the wrath or being bequeathed with a degree of sympathy. Ultimately, Jonny Sexton’s … Continue reading Transition fought out in the trenches

As it was, so shall it always be

The eminent sports columnist Eamonn Sweeney had a piece just shy of a year ago depicting the characteristics and viewpoints of a species known as ‘Hurling Man’. It was, of course, a satirical ensemble, but you can be sure it grated at the inner sensitivities of devotees of the ancient game. Brian Cody Look, we’re all hurling fans. It is unequivocally accredited as being one of the best field games in the world. However, the fact is that some folk will always have a greater affinity with Gaelic football. Nothing wrong with that, either. Things get messy, though, when talk … Continue reading As it was, so shall it always be

Black card sprouting signs of good football

                                       Perhaps, for once, the GAA may have abated their often rightly stereotyped resistance to change in time. Now, the black card hasn’t sat well with everyone in the game. Ulster counties vehemently said no to the proposal – some things never change. However, having been able to take in more football in person thus far this season than has been the case for a long time, owing to the black card, in my view, signs of good football appear to be … Continue reading Black card sprouting signs of good football

Resistance often futile with a meddlesome mindset

Have you seen the TV advert featuring Paul McGinley? Turns out the current Ryder Cup captain is sponsored by the same company that back the league competitions in men’s GAA. It’s a good fit. One of the golfer’s most admirable qualities is his humility. Giving the impression he likes to keep things simple, he has never forgot from whence he arrived. Having played a bit with Ballyboden St Enda’s in his younger days, he remains a passionate follower of our national games. Indeed, you suspect, of all things Irish. His father, Michael, has had horses in training, most notably with … Continue reading Resistance often futile with a meddlesome mindset

Amidst a crisis? Sacrifice the obvious fall guy

There’s long been a curiously undocumented school of thought in the GAA which decrees that, if a team is taking a serious pounding, the obvious solution is to withdraw a corner forward. It matters not that they might be getting absolutely pummelled at centre field, nor that the half backs are thus under siege. Amidst a crisis, the immediate reaction is to sacrifice the obvious fall guy. Sometimes, there doesn’t have to be a crisis afoot at all. Recently, the failure of a referee to properly apply the current rules probably inadvertently led to Meath corner forward Donal Lenihan being … Continue reading Amidst a crisis? Sacrifice the obvious fall guy

One Mat won’t cover all the cracks!

Roy Keane pinpointing Brian Clough as the greatest manager he worked with may have irked some, but, with fairer viewing, it was understandable. After all, Clough was the man who afforded the Mayfield native the breakthrough that every player needs on the way to making it in top level football. Juan Mata, Man U To be honest, I don’t remember much about Keane’s transfer to Manchester United other than the fee (£3.75m) being a record at the time. That figure looks measly compared to the sums paid nowadays and while in ways it’d be easy to marvel at the array … Continue reading One Mat won’t cover all the cracks!