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Posts Tagged ‘ Waterford Hurling ’

Extra Time Needed If Replays Not Being Covered

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It’s a travesty to say that the G.A.A. have turned down the opportunity to show the Leinster semi-final replay between Kilkenny and Galway. The drawn game last Sunday was an advertisement for what is possible in sport. For Galway to recover from what seemed to be an unassailable Kilkenny lead just shows what this sport is all about. Fat ladies and all that may have been mentioned with ten minutes to the final whistle but no one in their right mind could imagine that she wouldn’t get to sing a note. It’s difficult to work out the reasons for not showing this game live. Do the G.A.A. seriously believe that players will be working the morning of a championship match? That’s one of the reasons John Horan, Chairman of the Leinster Council gave as not to play the game at 2.30, it would be unfair on the players to give up a full Saturday. The fact that Tullamore is a busy town on a Saturday was also taken into consideration for not having the early start. 12,000 plus people attending a match, a negative for a town? Seriously? This year’s Munster championship replay between Cork and Waterford was streamed live on RTE Player instead of television and the resulting coverage was far from ideal, it was a poor effort to say the least. In last years Leinster championship, the semi-final replay between Kilkenny and Dublin was also reduced to internet viewing. The message coming down from the top to grass roots level is to promote the game, promote the game, promote the game and yet when they get a chance themselves, they fail miserably. Continue reading

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Early Action Indicates Exciting Hurling Season Ahead

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Nowlan Park played host to the clash of Kilkenny and Tipperary last weekend. Unlike the international Six Nations game between Wales and France, the organisers in Kilkenny opted to play with the roof open. The storm hit frame of the old stand was all that was left and it’s skeletal remains proved to be an eerie backdrop to what turned out to be an enthralling battle between these closest of rivals. Ireland may have lost narrowly to the ‘auld enemy’ in London at the weekend and for much of this game, it looked like Kilkenny were going to follow suit.

An exhibition of goal taking from both sides kept the crowd involved until the very last minutes. If this were a sixty minute game, well then Tipperary would have just about done enough but it wasn’t and those last ten minutes proved more than fruitful for the home team. It looked from early on that Kilkenny would be put to the sword by a more accurate Tipperary. The storm that had done so much damage in Kilkenny the week previous was only playing second fiddle to the damage that Tipperary forward Seamus Callanan and his team mates were inflicting on the Kilkenny defence. After just fourteen minutes on the clock, Tipperary had amassed 3-3 on the scoreboard. It must be said that Tipperary were playing with a strong breeze behind their backs for the first half but their goals came from some very poor Kilkenny defending. Tipperary will be kicking themselves this morning that they managed to let a ten point lead disappear in front of their very eyes. The same two teams competed in the League Final in Nowlan Park last year, with the same winners emerging. They also played in the All Ireland qualifiers at the same venue in 2013 and so the Tipperary supporters and players will not want to return anytime soon. Continue reading

Fitting Finale To Great Championship As Clare Topple Cork In Thriller

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Clare 5-16 Cork 3-16

The most exciting championship in living memory deserved a fitting final and by god did we get it. The drawn game three weeks had everything or so we taught. What was served up to us on Saturday evening was a credit to both Clare and Cork and surpassed the hopes of the neutral who had feared an also-ran replay. Those fears were quickly diminished as late replacement and soon-to-be poster boy of Clare, Shane O Donnell scored a hat trick of goals inside the first twenty minutes. Add to this a 20 metre free from Cork goalkeeper Anthony Nash that he blasted past 12 Clare players on the line which was in itself box office viewing. Clare had stretched to an eight point lead with half time fast approaching but a determined Cork importantly managed to claw into that lead before the break leaving just three points in it at the interval.

The second half began as the first finished, fast, frantic and highly intense. Cork came back in the second half with a few hammer blows and drew it level, Clare at that stage responded like a team of 27- or 28-year-olds with four All-Ireland medals in their back pocket, who knew how not to panic and knew how to close the deal. Yet that came from a bunch of young and relatively inexperienced hurlers. Continue reading

SHC Final: Clare And Cork Must Do It All Again

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Clare 0-25 Cork 3-16

Last Sunday I witnessed what was possibly the most dramatic and exciting game of hurling I have seen in my near thirty years on this planet. Given the occasion and what was at stake the drama that unfolded was truly box office, heart-stopping for a neutral , I can only imagine what it was like for the proud Cork and Clare natives.

On Sunday , Clare and Cork played out a draw inside a packed Croke Park and must now do it all again on September 28th at 5pm. Queue the rush for tickets.

In a high-octane encounter following on from what we have experienced from the championship already this year, Cork who had been second best all afternoon grabbed a point from lead marksman and talisman Patrick Horgan right on the 70 minute mark to put them ahead by a point and with two minutes of injury time signalled the robbery of the century was on the cards. Fans from Cork roared and cameras were on Jimmy Barry Murphy as Cork won a sideline ball way up the field. They cut it wide and the referee gave Clare one last chance with time up. Step forward corner-back Domhnall O’Donovan. He gambled, made his way up field and collected a pass under the Cusack Stand from Nicky O’Connell. Defying the corner-back label he shot straight over the bar, his first ever championship point amid madness and emotion in Croker. Game over , both sides must do it all again. Continue reading

Munster Rivals Draw Swords In Battle For Hurling Success

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After a summer of drama, entertainment, controversy and joyous hurling we reach the pinnacle of the hurling calendar this weekend with tickets for Sunday’s battle as rare as hen’s teeth.

Few would have predicted it at the start of the year and those who did well there just liars or fortune tellers. Cork and Clare do battle this Sunday at half past three in Croke Park for the honour and privilege of being crowned All-Ireland champions and bringing home the Holy Grail that is the Liam McCarthy cup. Both teams have come this far via the back door / qualifier system but none to argue their worth of a place in Sunday’s showpiece after both teams displayed scintillating performances in their semi-final victories to advance. Continue reading

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