Cork and Cavan miss out again
THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN Cork and Cavan’s seasons are remarkable. After both showed excellent form in their provinces to complete four-in-a-rows, both suffered agonising one-point defeats to last minute frees in Saturday’s semi-finals.
It will nag at both sides that they haven’t been able to claim an All-Ireland over the last four years.
However, while they are tough defeats to take, the signs for the future are positive and there are plenty of players with bucket-loads of potential now heading to senior grade.
Magical Murtagh makes his mark
0-10 was hugely impressive from Diarmuid Murtagh, even more so as a player who was playing at minor level last year.
The St. Faithleachs clubman was Roscommon’s go-to-guy in attack, was near perfect with his free-taking and his superb left footed point was the winning of the game.
A brilliant attacking talent, the Rossies will be hoping he can now shoot them to All-Ireland glory.
No referee should need an escort
The scenes at the end of Cavan’s loss to Dublin were a disgrace. No referee, no matter how badly you feel they may have performed, should need to be escorted off the field by stewards and Gardai.
Referees are human and humans — even with the best of intentions — are prone to making mistakes. Whether or not Gavin Ivory was fouled by Conor Moynagh is open to debate but nobody died because Cavan missed out on an All-Ireland U21 final so these things must be put into perspective.
That Cavan manager Peter Reilly would want to remonstrate with Derek O’Mahoney is understandable but — with the decision never going to be changed — the place for that was in the dressing room, not on the field in front of an already aggrieved crowd.
Tipperary need to stop the flow of goals
With just two wins in the league and a -10 score difference over five games, few would have expected Tipperary to outgun Clare in Limerick yesterday but that’s exactly what Eamon O’Shea’s men did, thanks in the large part to 12 points from Seamus Callanan and two goals from Bonner Maher.
However, after leaking 12 goals in the league stages — only relegated Waterford (13) conceded more — seeing Clare raise the green flag twice yesterday will be a worry, especially facing a Kilkenny team that has 15 goals in six games already.
Brian Cody’s phenomenal league success
For a competition they use to blood new players, try out new tactics and generally only care about when it comes to finals day, Kilkenny’s record under Brian Cody in the Allianz Hurling League is little short of phenomenal.
When they take on Tipperary in the final on May 4, it will be their 10th in 15 years under Cody and, should they win, their eighth victory.
As an added bonus, the signs are there that the Cats are returning to something resembling their 2011/2012 form with Cody stating his starting XV for their Leinster Championship opener is becoming increasingly clear.