Experts? Robotic crap!
LIFT the papers, listen to the radio or watch the television; when it comes to the views of so-called GAA experts - the guys who have been there and done it as lauded players or well-paid managers and thus are supposed to know what they are talking about, they are intended to analyse games and come up with some sort of an idea who’s going to win and why. But, as yesterday’s All-Ireland semi-final proves again, they invariably talk crap.
I wish I had a tenner for all the know-alls who ended up with the conclusion that Donegal would make Cork work hard for their place in the final, but that The Rebels would win by a point or two - generally because of their superior scoring skills, I would be a very happy bunny.
I’m not being wise after the event, as dozens of folk who asked me will testify, but I just could not see Donegal losing.
Yet, Oisin McConville and Joe Brolly apart, I didn’t see any of the ‘big names’ go for the Ulster champions.
Okay, I accept that there was an element of begrudgery with the southern-based writers and broadcasters, some of whom are more likely to change their religion than tip an Ulster team to win anything, let alone an All-Ireland semi-final.
But that’s no excuse for the ‘know-alls’ in the north!
Cats, Tipp off the leash
If any footballers in the country had behaved on the big stage of Croke Park as did the hurlers of Kilkenny and Tipperary, red cards would have been floating in the air like confetti and they would have been making front page news for weeks afterwards. But not so for the men wearing the colours of Tipp and the Cats - not a red card to be seen!!
Hurling is, as Cats boss Brian Cody quite rightly described it, a ‘manly’ game - but it’s hard to argue with the general belief that it was made to look a little bit more than that as Kilkenny got the better of Tipperary to reach the All-Ireland yet again.
There were many who felt that one of the great sporting spectacles of the Irish year descended into something of a war of attrition, lots of people with absolutely no axe of any kind to grind accusing the behaviour as bordering on the thuggish.
There are those who believe Cork referee Cathal McAllister, who is regarded as a whistler who likes to let the game flow, was out of his depth.
It is impossible for the referee to see everything, but his four umpires and two assistants are there to help. Officials have to control the game. YIt’s that simple. Otherwise, why are they there at all?
You can’t have players going head-to-head with others only too eager to cover ground in Bolt-like fashion to get stuck in.
Some observers have expressed the view that he was in a no-win situation, but that is a pathetic excuse. He is there to implement the rules and it is not his perogative to decide when to do so and when to ignore them.
Kilkenny are said to be furious that the incident which resulted in a serious hand injury to midfielder Michael Rice looks set not to result in any sanction. He underwent an operation to reset several broken bones in his hand and tendon damage was thought to require further surgery.
But Rice’s injury is only part of the review by the Central Competitions Control Committee who viewed the recording to determine what sanctions, if any, may be handed out in the wake of the brawling and confrontation that marred the showpiece match. But action is believed deemed unlikely against either team.
And that is as much a disgrace as anything which happened on the pitch, because such a joke are the rules which impose idiotic constraints on off-field officials that they are powerless to right the wrongs of those who fail to observe them on the field.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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