What’s in A Jersey – Talking Points
Cork Jersey Reaction
Anyone tuning in on Saturday night probably did an instinctive double take and wondered who the Cats were playing in the unfamiliar blue jerseys. On the night, Cork were evidently inspired by the spirit of 1916 to put on a tremendous display of hurling, in contrast to some lacklustre performances to date, particularly last week’s capitulation to Dublin. With Séamus Harnedy, Lehane and McDonnell to the fore they led going into the last ten minutes. That might see you home against other sides but not Kilkenny and almost inevitably, John Power broke Rebel hearts with a point at the death. The 1916 Jerseys looked fantastic under the Páirc Uí Rinn lights, and they may yet herald a renaissance of sorts for this team.
Tipp v Galway Finish Level
Sideline ball. Around halfway. At the death. Teams level. Joe Canning standing over it. With any other player you'd maybe have a few doubts, but cometh the hour, cometh the man in a Galway no 14 jersey. He cuts it, straight over the black spot. He's been doing it for years but still it's a sight to behold and a skill to cherish. Enough to win any game, but fair dues to Tipp and Bubbles O'Dwyer they've been down the home straight before and they know how important it is to keep the head at the death. Again, marvellous composure and a great finish. That's hurling. That's all it is.
Roscommon's jerseys have a map of the county in the back with the borders of each club marked out. Given the run of league results the Rossies have put together, the sum is definitely the result of all the parts. The team seems to have a sense of purpose under Mayo's Kevin McStay that suggests they can annex a league title, and more importantly, drive on to further success into the summer. In recent years Roscommon have run into the likes of Tyrone in qualifier matches, but the suggestions are that this crew have gradually assembled a lot of the right stuff for a good championship campaign. They have been the dominant u21 team in the west over the last few years. “We were dreaming of beating Donegal in Donegal” said Gaffer McStay. This is the team remember, that beat Kerry in their back yard and put 4-25 on Cork. With players like Cathal Gregg, Ciaran Murtagh and Senan Kilbride playing with the tail up and more importantly the head up, and with the support of the county at their backs, how far can this team go? Good question. Answers anyone?
With two matches to go, and with results conspiring with them, Tyrone ensured the familiar red hand jersey will feature in Division one next season. While Tyrone won by six in Navan, old rivals Derry scored five goals in Portlaoise but only managed a draw. However it will be the concession of 1-22 that will have Damian Barton tossing and turning in his bed. If the Oakleafers can match defensive solidity with goal scoring they will be on the right track for championship, but there’s little sign of that consistency yet. Meanwhile Kieran McGeeney was frustrated with losing a late point to Galway plunging them into relegation mire, with a trip to Healy Park coming up. A Tyrone win would surely relegate Armagh. They wouldn’t let that happen would they? Cavan look to be in pole position for promotion but it may go to the wire when they play Galway at Breffni on the final day.
High Scoring Classics
There has been much discussion of late around the introduction of the Mark to Gaelic football. We’re wondering if the powers that be have taken a look at some of the big scores being posted in this league campaign and analysed the source. For Roscommon to hit 4-25 and Cork to reply with 3-10 is serious scoring, that’s more than a score a minute in a 70 minute game. But we’ve seen this weekend, Laois score 1-22 and Derry 5-10. Other games have seen winning scores of 1-18, 2-16 and so on. Maybe the old game is in better shape than the usual suspects would have us believe. Heaven forbid.