When Good Men Say Nothing. . .

Media make hay yet no haymakers thrown
So Paraic Duffy has come out and openly criticised the media coverage surrounding this Derytresk and Dromid Pearses match.

The Ard Stiurthoir made his criticisms yesterday launching his report to Congress: “These were disagreeable incidents, and no-one in authority in the GAA will seek to minimise what occurred.”

“But the gap between what actually occurred and the presentation of what occurred was conspicuous. The incident became an unmissable opportunity in certain quarters to target the GAA and to indulge in the crudest forms of stereotyping of supporters of Gaelic games.

Given that it was the media coverage that caused a lot of the ill will; given that the video release to RTE was selective (and we are prepared to stand corrected on that but our information was they only received footage of the row); given that the coverage on YouTube was selective; and given the rash of anti Tyrone and anti Northern comments including the lamentable intervention by Dr Crokes concerning ‘family tickets’ at Portlaoise, surely Mr Duffy could have made a more profitable intervention at the time?

The video footage shown repeatedly cast the Derrytresk players, mentors and subs in a negative light. However, highlights subsequently release showed a game in which players that should have know better engaged in off the ball actions and were caught on camera yet got off scot free. Meanwhile the melee that attracted all the media opprobrium led to the suspension of key players that undoubtedly derailed Derrytresk’s All Ireland bid.

Paraic Duffy is correct to criticise those who used the coverage to lambast the GAA and then conveniently pretend that the sort of ill-disciplined behaviour that we saw that day goes on week in week out.

What he and other officers need to guard against is increasingly media savvy Club PR people who can use their wiles to selectively release material that ensures others are found guilty in the eyes of the media before the GAA disciplinary wheels grind into motion.

In the era of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and a growing rash of supporter’s blogs and citizen journalists, these are real concerns.

Fennelly auctions hurl and jersey from 2011 All-Ireland final.

By Jackie Cahill

2011 Hurler of the Year Michael Fennelly is auctioning the jersey he wore and the hurl that he used in last September’s All-Ireland final in aid of charity.

Late last year, Fennelly spent a week building houses in the townships of South Africa and has donated his jersey and hurl to the Niall Mellon township trust.

Having participated in the Building Blitz week in November 2011, Fennelly witnessed at first hand the horrendous living conditions that local people must endure daily

He reflected: “When you actually see the poverty in front of your eyes, that’s when it hits home. I am delighted to be able to do anything I can to help and I hope that by donating my jersey and hurl that good will come from it.”

The proceeds from the sale of these items will enable the charity to continue a year round house building programme, helping some of the most disadvantaged and marginalised people in South Africa move from a shack to a house.

Fennelly recently presented his shirt and hurl to Liam Mullen, staunch Kilkenny supporter and veteran charity volunteer, who has travelled to South Africa every year for the past ten years. For further information on the Auction and charity visit www.nmtownshiptrust.com or phone 01 4948200.

A direct link to Michael Fennelly’s auction page can be found here: http://ie.ebid.net/for-sale/michael-fennelly-all-star-jersey-hurl-auction-for-niall-mellon-township-trus-62505913.htm

 

HE Camogie Round Up

The semi-finalists of the Ashbourne Cup were decided yesterday when University Limerick and University College Cork won their final group games.  UL defeated NUI Galway in Dangan while UCC overcame a spirited UUJ challenge in Dublin.

 

UCC 2-25 –v- UUJ 5-05

Blanchardstown

Dublin

Referee: Donal Ryan

 

It was goal’s galore in the first half with no less than six three pointers hit between the sides before half time.  UUJ had the perfect start when Aimee McAtamney hit the back of the net within 30 seconds of the thrown in.  UCC responded with points from captain Denise Cronin and Cork team mate Joanne Casey, while Cliodhna MacSweeney was also on target for the Cork College.  The sides then exchanged points before UUJ full forward Karen Kielt scored her side’s second goal ten minutes into the first half.  Katrina Mackey and Waterford All Ireland winner Shauna Kiernan began to dominate at midfield and they provided the platform for the UCC attacks despite pressure from Down’s Paula Gribben.  The UUJ defence was under considerable pressure and despite excellent performances from Cathy Carey, Sabrina Larkin and Aileen Martin, UCC continued to raise the white flag through Mackey and Cronin while the industrious Marie O’Neill also tagged on two points.  O’Neill followed up on her two points with a fortunate goal midway through the first half before UCC full forward Sharon Hayes scored a goal with ten minutes of the half remaining.  The Belfast side then hit a purple patch with McAtamney and Kielt scoring a goal each, followed up by a pointed free from Derry’s Kielt.  UCC had the final say of the first half with a point from a placed ball courtesy of Katrina Mackey.

 

Half-Time Score UCC 2-14 –v- UUJ 4-03

 

UCC introduced Aoife Barry-Murphy and Nicola Moore at half time, while UUJ introduced Aimee McInerney at halftime to try and curtail the excellent Joanne Casey. The Cork side continued where they left off in the first half with points from MacSweeney, Casey, Denise Cronin and Nicola Moore.  Marie O’Neill was again to the fore in the second half adding on a further four points before the Belfast side scored their fifth goal of the game from Alex McLoughlin following a strong run from Sara Louise Carr.  UUJ did create more chances but excellent defending from Caomihe Shields and Eimear Mulhall forced mistakes and missed chances from UUJ.  UCC ran out comfortable winners in the end but UUJ can take heart from their performance.

 

As a result of this fixture UCC top the group ahead of UCD and compete in the Ashbourne Cup semi finals, while UUJ will play in the Shield.

 

UCC: Shauna Carroll (Offaly), Aideen McNamara (Limerick), Nicola Butler (Kilkenny), Caoimhe Shields (Kilkenny), Christina Murphy (Cork), Eimear Mulhall (Kilkenny), Patricia Buttimer (Cork), Shauna Kiernan (Waterford), Katrina Mackey (Cork), Joanne Casey (Cork), Marie O’Neill (Cork), Denise Cronin (capt, Cork), Cliodhna MacSweeney (Kildare), Sharon Hayes (Tipperary), Caitroina Brennan (Kilkenny) SUBS Aoife Barry Murphy (Cork) for Caitroina Brennan, Nicola Moore (Kilkenny) for Sharon Hayes

 

UUJ: Eleanor Mallon (Antrim), Sarah Maguire (Antrim), Aileen Martin (Antrim), Rebecca Mooney (Antrim), Cathy Carey (Antrim), Sabrina Larkin (Tipperary), Paula Gribben (Down), Lisa McPolin (Down), Shannon Graham (Antrim), Teresa McElroy (Derry), SaraLouise Carr (capt, Down), Niamh Donnelly (Antrim), Alex McLaughlin (Antrim), Karen Kielt (Derry), Aimee McAtamney (Antrim) SUBS: Aimee McInerney (Clare), Joanne O’Laughlin (Antrim)

 

The fixtures for the semi finals now read as follows.

 

ASHBOURNE CUP

 

Semi Final 1

University College Cork –v- University College Limerick

 

Semi Final 2

Waterford IT –v- University College Dublin

 

ASHBOURNE SHIELD

NUI Galway –v- University of Ulster Jordanstown

Ashbourne Match Report

ASHBOURNE CUP

UCD –v- UUJ

Dublin star Kate McDonald inspires UCD to victory over UUJ with a player of the match display in the group stages of the Ashbourne Cup.

After suffering a defeat in the league UCD turned the tables on UUJ last night when they recorded a 2-14 to 2-08 victory in Round 2 of the Ashbourne Cup.  Played in freezing conditions in Dublin, UCD were the stronger side in the first half with free taker Kristen Farrell proving deadly accurate from placed balls.  Arriving late to the match UUJ were always on the back foot with Denise McGrath causing havoc in the UUJ defence, wearing number 12, McGrath took advantage of UUJ’s slow start when she rifled a shot past Jordanstown’s keeper Eleanor Mallon.  With joint captain Kate McDonald and Dublin’s Natalia Hyland dominant at midfield UUJ struggled to get any ball into their forward line.  UUJ could feel that they were penalised wrongly which allowed UCD to tag on a few points before UUJ responded with a well taken goal from Derry star Karen Kielt, followed by a point from a free from the same player shortly after.  UCD continued to pile on the pressure with points from Kirsten Farrell, Eileen McElroy and Emma O’Connor and but for the efforts of the UUJ defence led by Sabrina Larkin it could have been worse.  Dublin’s McGrath had the final say of the first half when she hit the top corner of the net for her second goal.

HALF TIME SCORE:  UCD 2-06 –v- UUJ 1-01

After some strong words from UUJ manager Aisling Jackson at half time UUJ started the second half brightly with two points inside the opening two minutes.  UCD responded with an excellent team score after the hard working Sandra Tannion provided a lay off to Eimear O’Connor who duly slotted over a point from an acute angle.  UUJ responded with a point from a free, before Eileen McElroy scored after an impressive solo run through the UUJ defence.  UCD followed this up with two points from frees before UUJ responded with a point from Shannon Graham.  It was score for score for the next ten minutes before UUJ sparked to life scoring 1-03 without reply.  Strong running from UUJ captain Sara Louise Carr created space in the UCD defence and when Carr laid the ball off to full forward Kielt, she duly finished to the net with a hand passed goal.  It proved to little too late for Jordanstown who now play UCC next week in a game, which they must win if they are to stand any chance of going through to the Ashbourne Cup semi finals.

Best on the night for UCD were Sandra Tannion, Kate McDonald, Denise McGrath and Eileen McElroy.  While Tipperary native Sabrina Larkin and Lisa McPolin performed best for the Belfast side.

FINAL SCORE UCD 2-14 –v- UUJ 2-08

UCD Team:  Emma Staunton, Emma Doyle, Ger Stapleton, Frances Doran, Ruth Kaiser, Leanne Fennelly (capt), Elaine Tannian, Kate McDonald (capt), Natalia Hyland, Sandra Tannian, Eileen McElroy, Denise McGrath, Eimear O’Connor, Kirsten Farrell, Emma O’Connor

UUJ Team: Eleanor Mallon, Aimee McInerney, Sarah Maguire, Rebecca Mooney, Cathy Carey, Sabrina Larkin, Lisa McPolin, Teresa McElroy, Paula Gribben, Dania Donnelly, Sara Louise Carr (Capt.), Shannon Graham, Alex McLaughlin, Karen Kielt, Niamh Donnelly

Asbourne Round Up

Waterford IT 2-13 University of Limerick 1-9

Jacqui O’Connor reports on the first of the Round 2 Ashbourne Cup fixtures.

The second round game in pool A of the Ashbourne 2012 was played yesterday in UL in which the home side and visitors WIT served up a well contested game for the strong cohort of supporters in attendance.  A bright crisp spring day and relatively good underfoot conditions lent itself to a good open fast game with both sides keen to progress in this year’s championship.  After a very lively start both sides exchanged scores from placed balls; Emma Comerford for WIT and Tipp senior Cait Devane for UL.

A ding dong battle then ensued with both defences and mid field parings doing well as the intensity of the game grew. Despite the strong defending of UL captain Susan Vaughan and Maria Walsh at centre back and the hard working Bolger sisters it was WIT who managed to dominate the next quarter with two well taken goals by Marie Dargan and Emma Comerford and from placed balls by Patricia Jackman and Emma Comerford before UL added another point from a free. Just before half time WIT captain Katie Power tacked on two good points from play. The second half very much belonged to UL who got off to a flying start and with great work by Niamh O Dea, Niamh Richardson, Cait Devane and Cork senior Julia White saw them notching up 1-2 before Patricia Jackman added to her tally for WIT from placed balls and Denise Gaule’s  well worked point from play. Further points were soon exchanged for both sides by their respective top free takers; Cait Devane for UL and Emma Commerford for WIT, each pointing from the penalty spot before bringing the game to a close. Though disappointed UL who were without their full back Shona Curran, a star from Waterford’s  Junior All Ireland winning side last year will take much heart from their second half display as they head into their second group game against NUIG next week and which should prove to be a very eagerly contested encounter. WIT now progress to the Cup semi finals and will know that despite some good patches of play that more will be required over the full sixty minutes if they are to secure a place in the final.

UL: S Moynihan, E Frisby, S Vaughan (capt), C Motherway, E Ryan, M Walsh, N O Dea, Lisa Bolger (1-0,free), Linda Bolger, F Keely, R Byrne, C Devane (0-9, 0-8 frees) (, J White, N Richardson, M Scanlon, subs: J Mulcahy for M Scanlon (20 mins) C O Leary for F Keely (24 mins)

WIT: K Keneally, R Jones, SA Fitzgerald, L Keena, P Jackman (0-4,frees), C Dormer, A Carroll, K O’ Donoghue, K Parrock, K Power (0-2), M Quilty, S Farrell, M Dargan (1-0), D Gaule (0-1), E Comerford (1-6, 0-5 frees)

Referee: Mike O Connor

Cardiac Risk – Education, Information and Action

Cardiac Screening Saves Lives
In the last few weeks we have heard the sad news of two young players dying suddenly, apparently from Cardiac related conditions.

Amidst all the issues confronting the GAA – and there are many for what is normally the quiet pre season month of January – the issue of player health and welfare is paramount.

There is no suggestion that training is in any way the cause of sudden death. What is possible is that high intensity training can lead to the onset and impact of underlying medical conditions. It is also a common enough occurrence that people with an underlying condition are going about their everyday business unaware of the timebomb ticking inside them. For some people, the first symptom is sudden death.

The GAA has recognised this through its commitment to screening programmes. The GAA now advises that the most effective way to identify risk is for players over the age of 14 to undergo cardiac screening on one occasion. It is also advised that this process be repeated before the age of 25. (http://www.gaa.ie/medical-and-player-welfare/cardiac-screening/)

Also many clubs have invested in defibrillators and indeed last year in a high profile incident a referee in Down was resuscitated using a defib. These should be de rigour at every ground.

Some conditions cannot be dealt with by a defib. I was told by the parent of one young rugby players that died on the pitch that he was ‘dead by the time he hit the ground’. Whatever condition had caused his sudden death wouldn’t have been recoverable using a defib.

A few pointers then:

  • Within your club, try and make arrangements to get players screened. Cardiac Risk in the Young and HealthyHeartsHealthyLives offer a service in Ulster.
  • Also the linked referenced above offers the latest GAA guidance on screening.
  • If your club has a defib, make sure it is accessible and that people are trained to use it. Run sessions to familiarise people with what to do in the event of emergency
  • If you do not have a defib, consider buying one.

Take a proactive approach to player welfare in your club. Education, information and action.

Paying managers, sorting our discipline and dealing with tangled transfer situations are important, but most important of all is the welfare of our young people.

Our sympathy and prayers go to the families and friends of James Morley from the Ballyhaunis GAA Club and Ciaran Carr from Round Towers GAA club. May they rest in peace.

Links:

http://www.gaa.ie/medical-and-player-welfare/cardiac-screening/

http://www.c-r-y.org.uk/ecg.htm

http://www.healthyheartshealthylives.com/

http://www.thecormactrust.com/

 

The Third Secret of Fatima: Paying Managers

When you grow up my children, your manager may be paid .
Paddy Heaney talks this morning in the Irish News about the vexed issue of payments to managers in the GAA.

Paddy points out correctly that for an ‘amateur’ organisation there are a lot of people being paid, starting in Croke Park with An Uachtarán himself and a cohort of administrators, coaches and others. Every Provincial Council is well tooled up personnel-wise as are county boards. The positive effects of that are clear to all.

In counties and clubs the length and breadth of the country managers, coaches and a variety of carpet baggers and snake oil salesmen are also receiving money. Much of it in the form of under the table payments. Last Friday night Paddy tells us, the GAA management committee finally received Padraic Duffy’s report on payments to managers. It was a bit like the Third Secret of Fatima. Everyone knew it existed but few knew of the actual contents.

Paddy suggests that the GAA will be required to take some action to address this area. Notwithstanding the fact that coaches are entitled to vouched expenses, as are other folks involved in team preparation. The thinking is that clubs and counties will be disbarred from taking on the services of coaches from outside or that payments will be allowed on some sort of regulated scale.

The problem with the first option is that it is likely to result in the rich getting richer and the poor staying poor. We have seen the value of outside coaches. And I am making no conclusions as to who is being paid anything here.

In Fermanagh we have seen the galvanising effect Peter Canavan has had so far. In Ulster hurling, especially the weaker counties, outside coaches have had a tremendous effect. Let’s not forget the impact of coaches at intercounty level such as Eugene McGee, John O’Mahoney.  Micheal Dempsey, one of Brian Cody’s right hand men is from Laois and the Antrim players have been raving about the input of Andy Ward from New Zealand via Ballynahinch.

The issues of coaches being paid on some sort of sliding scale may have merit but the reality is that the local businessman can and will augment the going rate to get the fella he wants.

A friend of mine was involved last year in taking a team from his own club to an All Ireland club success. He was left personally out of pocket on a range of expenses which he didn’t ask for back for food and other requirements. But more tellingly he was telling me over Christmas that it was like a full-time job for a period of time, dealing with players and all the collateral that came with the territory. This resulted in a considerable reduction in income – the extent to which was only fully quantified when doing his recent tax return. Far form being paid, the role was costing him.

This scenario is likely replicated in many clubs. My friend’s brother in law is also a senior coach in his own club playing at senior championship level and he also is not paid. Nor would either of them take money because they realise that down the club are many other people just like them sacrificing what time they can afford.

There is no easy answer, but just because one person is being paid does not mean they all should. But that’s the GAA.

Eventually the third secret of Fatima was revealed. Apparently when she appeared, Our Lady called for the payment of GAA managers. However, it was felt the news was too shocking for people to take on board, so a tale was concocted that the Third Secret instead related to the shooting of Pope John Paul II. Fact is sometimes stranger than fiction.


Stand Up For Your Chariots

Last night at Ravenhill, Ulster were giving Leicester Tigers a bit of a hammering.

The witty Ulster supporters, known for their ‘Norn Iron’ sense of humour started up a chorus of Swing Low Sweet Chariot. Ironic of course, but it prompted a flurry of puzzled, irate and annoyed responses in the Twittersphere.

I was there myself once years back when Ulster were also doing a number on Leicester, then featuring England captain Martin Johnson. Johnson was a replacement coming on as a sub to start throwing his weight about to no effect. Cue the same chorus. They pride themselves on the old favourites the Ravenhill crowd. Last night was no exception. Made a change from the usual Stand up for the Ulster Men.

The point several people made last night was that this was all in the spirit of a bit of craic. To the unreconstructed Irishmen amongst us, an Ulster crowd singing an African-American Spiritual dirge written by a Choctaw Indian and converted from Rugby Tour Drinking Song to England Anthem in praise of Hat trick scoring hero Chris Oti in 1988, was a step too far. Humourless bastards we or what?

The point was made that there are plenty of GAA men that attend Ravenhill. True. Windsor Park it is not (and I’m going there for the craic next month and will report back). However, having been frequently over the last twelve years usually on a beer drinking jolly, I have never found the place totally welcoming. Maybe that’s just me.

It is not a home from home in the way the Old Lansdowne Road was. In my opinion there is a definite air of the Northern Ireland establishment at play. That is fine. The atmosphere is good craic among the umbrellas, Barbour Jackets, scarves and old school ties. But it’s not me.

The point has also been made that we can learn from Rugby about respect for referees and player behaviour. Correct, but that is not an Ulster phenomenon.

Rugby in Ulster does not have the same interchangeability that it does in say Munster where folks play and support rugby in winter and attend hurling and football in the summer. Rugby in Ulster is the largely the preserve of the Unionist and Protestant Middle and Upper Middle Classes. It is by and large not played in the Catholic Grammar school sector, or the Vocational sector.

There are many of GAA persuasion in Ulster that follow rugby. Munster Rugby has a fascination in this house that Ulster will never have because they don’t have the same mythology. Yes, there is a cross over, some lads go and play, fair play to them.

But my point to one guy this morning was that it is one-way traffic. For all the card carrying GAA men at Ravenhill last evening, there won’t be reciprocation at Casement on Sunday when Antrim face Tyrone. And more’s the pity. I listened to Trevor Ringland tell us what he liked and disliked about the GAA at an Ulster GAA conference last year. It was great stuff.

But it is still what ‘we can do to make out product more welcoming’. In my opinion, our games are there to be played. Come and play them and don’t let the other factors distract you if interested in actually playing. Or watching. I know one diehard Ulster Rugby fan who is of sound Ulster Protestant stock and is also a member of Club Tyrone. And once you have started, let your kids come and start playing too. If you are serious that is about what we can do for you and what you can do for us.

My brother in law always sounds a note of caution around rugby and was pleased when Ireland were knocked out of the Rugby World Cup. His reasoning is that it is a competing attraction at underage and therefore we should resist attempts at cross-fertilization.

I coached a team that used the local rugby club’s lights last winter as we had nowhere else to train. Even that action concerned him mildly. He sees the day when as a more professional sport it will seek access to our schools in a benign way, and is already doing so. The schools will let them in the interests of collegiality, sport and cross community partnership. All well and good he says, but our games aren’t being reciprocated in the other direction. And he’s right.

We have at least two very promising underage hurlers/footballers who will likely end up lost to our club because of the competing attraction of rugby at the Grammar school they are likely to attend.

So as far as not falling over myself to promote Rugby, I have my reasons.

But as far as English Rugby teams losing on Irish soil to a team from the Nine County Province of Ulster, yes, you can stick your chariots up your arse. And I do Stand Up for the Ulster Men, and Women, but all nine counties of them, in all sports.

Do you?

Training Before Dawn? Must Be January

Football in January - the Glamour Game

There’s been a fair bit of interest over the last week in the ways in which county teams are making their return to training.

With an increasing horde of GAA players committing their thoughts to Twitter, often with scant regard for who might be reading, we can get a real insight into what’s going on out there. Or can we?

These same boys, some of whom were ploughing up and down sand dunes on remote beaches during the training ban were suspiciously quiet during December. Maybe the odd missive about lingerie shopping for the girlfriend or what sort of treat to buy the pet bitch.

But, come the new year we’ve been getting a steady drip drip. In 2003 after Joe Kernan famously shipped Armagh off to the now legendary La Manga Club in Spain, a flurry of copycat overseas warm-weather training camps were organised. There, teams lived like professionals for a week or so before returning to work in the Allied Irish Bank, St Columba’s School, the oul boy’s farm or wherever, and the same old routine.

This year, following on from their success last year, early morning training seems to be the thing. Reports today suggest that Dublin are starting their sessions at 5:30 am. I’ll repeat that, 5:30 am. The thought of it makes me physically sick. That’s round about the time I wake up one the sofa having dozed off after a pleasing glass or two. Likewise Donegal. Early birds get the worm we are told. It used to be if you had a reputation as an early riser you could sleep til’ noon. Not anymore. The pressure this puts on lads to physically get to training is savage. The new philosophy is if you don’t do the time, you’ll be found out. Big time.

Consider last summer. But for two late points in the first half Tyrone had Donegal pretty much where they wanted them. Likewise but for Colm McFadden blazing his goal chance over the bar in Croker, Donegal had the Dubs pretty much where they wanted them. But ultimately it was the Dubs that rose to the top on both days and in the Final.

What gave them those inches? Was it the early morning sessions? Pat Gilroy’s relish for the task in hand? Mickey Whelan’s wily old fox coaching? The input of Caroline Currid? Or the application of boys like Cluxton who trian for the day when it might all come to pass with just one chance. Likely all of the above.

Talking to one Ulster county player earlier, he was telling me they were training like never before, harder, tougher, faster, longer. Knackered he said he was, but loving it because he knows what the prize might be.

And with the training regimes of Dublin and Donegal filtering out to the rest of us, the bar has been raised, there’s no doubt about that.

Come Septmeber, we’ll see who’s for the high stool, the high jump or the heights of All Ireland success. Can’t wait, could be a fascinating year.

 

Now is the Winter of Our Discontent

Yes you....

The men in black have been in the news much of late. Same as it ever was you might reply.

In England soccer referee Jeff Winter landed himself in hot water following a gratuitous and offensive attack on Celtic and their Catholic religious following. Supposedly blogging about his holiday in New Zealand, Winter’s ruminations on the way in which The Bhoys celebrate or don’t delebrate success has been deemed offensive enough to bring about a complaint from Celtic Football Club.

Back here in GAAdom word comes out today via John Fogerty and the Irish Examiner that GAA referees are considering the establishment of a referees body, similar in some ways to the GPA.

The impetus for this has been a series of assaults and attacks on referees in club games. It continues to defy logic in that people don’t realise that without referees there would be no games. The best referees are the sorts of people that you don’t notice, in other words the game proceeds without any controversial or contradictory decisions.

Of course in competitive sport it is human nature to blame someone else. Writing yesterday in Gaelic Life John Morrison, uber coach and GAA deep-thinker ruminated on the fact that the outcome of a high level game can turn on a small number of key decisions made by players on the pitch. This echoes Jose Mourinho’s theory about moments in a game.

The player can make the ‘correct’ decision or the ‘incorrect’ decision. Either way, it can have an impact on the outcome. But what if the key decision by the referee is correct or incorrect? Inevitably they come under greater scrutiny than the corner forward that missed an easy score in what turned out to be a one-point game.

Likewise coaches can make correct or incorrect decisions. How many times have we heard the oul chestnut that we lost it on the line. Many of the boys making that assertion have never stood on the line in any pressure situation, even an underage championship match and therefore have no knowledge what they’re talking about.

So, our view for what it’s worth is that The Gaelic Referees Association or whatever it is called eventually has its merits, but it needs to be combined with a reality check by all the ref abusers in clubs up and down the country. It’s always someone else’s fault lads isn’t it. Sadly that is something we can’t see happening anytime soon.

Meanwhile, back with Jeff Winter. OK maybe not. Pig and Grunt.