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GAA Discussion => Hurling Discussion => Topic started by: seafoid on June 26, 2020, 07:32:45 PM

Title: The Covid all Ireland hurling championship 2020/21
Post by: seafoid on June 26, 2020, 07:32:45 PM
Munster SHC 1/4 final (Doubles up as Allianz Hurling League Div 1 final)

Limerick v Clare 

Munster SHC semi-finals

Cork v Waterford

Tipperary v Limerick/Clare

Leinster SHC 1/4 final

Laois v Dublin

Leinster SHC semi-finals

Galway v Wexford

Laois/Dublin v Kilkenny

Title: Re: The Covid all Ireland hurling championship 2020/21
Post by: seafoid on June 27, 2020, 07:21:20 AM

https://www.rte.ie/sport/gaa/2020/0626/1149765-2020-hurling-and-football-championships-finalised/

24/25 October
Allianz Football League Round 7
Munster SHC 1/4-final
Leinster SHC 1/4 final
Christy Ring and Nickey Rackard 1/4 finals
Joe McDonagh & Lory Meagher Round 1

31 October/ 1 November

Connacht SFC 1/4 finals
Munster SFC 1/4 finals
Leinster SFC Round 1
Ulster SFC preliminary round/1/4 finals
Munster SHC semi-finals
Leinster SHC semi-finals
Joe McDonagh & Lory Meagher Round 2
Christy Ring & Nickey Rackard semi-finals & relegation semi-finals

7/8 November

Connacht SFC semi-finals
Munster SFC semi-finals
Leinster SFC 1/4 finals
Ulster SFC 1/4 finals
All-Ireland SHC Qualifier Round 1 (2 games)
Joe McDonagh Round 3 (1 Game)
Christy Ring & Nickey Rackard Relegation finals
Lory Meagher Round 3

14/15 November 

Connacht SFC final
Leinster SFC semi-finals
Ulster SFC semi-final
Leinster SHC final
Munster SHC final
All-Ireland SHC Qualifier Round 2 (2 games)
Joe McDonagh Round 3 (1 game)
Christy Ring, Nickey Rackard & Lory Meagher finals

21/22 November

Leinster SFC final 
Joe McDonagh Round 4
All-Ireland SHC quarter-finals (2 games)
Munster SFC final
Ulster SFC final
Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U20 SHC final

28/29 November

All-Ireland SHC semi-final (Leinster champion v 1/4 final winner)
Joe McDonagh Round 5
All-Ireland SHC semi-final (Munster champions v 1/4 final winner)
All-Ireland MFC semi-finals
All-Ireland MHC semi-finals

5/6 December

All-Ireland SFC semi-final (Leinster champion v Ulster champion)
All-Ireland SFC semi-final (Connacht champion v Munster champion)
All-Ireland MFC final
All-Ireland MHC final

13 December
All-Ireland SHC final
Joe McDonagh final

19 December
All-Ireland SFC final

Title: Re: The Covid all Ireland hurling championship 2020/21
Post by: johnnycool on June 29, 2020, 04:40:24 PM
1/4 finals?

how this that worked out?

I presume two of the teams are the beaten provincial finalists, but how are the other two worked out?
Title: Re: The Covid all Ireland hurling championship 2020/21
Post by: Eire90 on June 29, 2020, 07:40:07 PM
they should have done a 16 team knockout or even a super 8 type tournament with 6 teams getting byes  to the super 8 and 4 teams playing for two spots in the super 8
Title: Re: The Covid all Ireland hurling championship 2020/21
Post by: seafoid on June 30, 2020, 07:32:43 AM
1/4 finals?

how this that worked out?

I presume two of the teams are the beaten provincial finalists, but how are the other two worked out?
2 qualifiers from the backdoor. Provincial.winners go to.semi..
I imagine.

I have gone to a lot of championship matches on August  and a lfew championship matches in November.  Championship is summer hurling. The hay saved.

Nobody saves hay in November because it rains too much and grass doesn't grow.

Would Tipp have the legs for intense mullocking 6 weekends in a row ?
 I think the bookies will struggle to price it this year.
Title: Re: The Covid all Ireland hurling championship 2020/21
Post by: johnnycool on June 30, 2020, 12:43:50 PM
1/4 finals?

how this that worked out?

I presume two of the teams are the beaten provincial finalists, but how are the other two worked out?
2 qualifiers from the backdoor. Provincial.winners go to.semi..
I imagine.

I have gone to a lot of championship matches on August  and a lfew championship matches in November.  Championship is summer hurling. The hay saved.

Nobody saves hay in November because it rains too much and grass doesn't grow.

Would Tipp have the legs for intense mullocking 6 weekends in a row ?
 I think the bookies will struggle to price it this year.

Panels with depth required and you'd think the likes of Limerick are reasonably well equipped but you're still relying on keeping key players fit and well and there's a certain element of luck required there.



Title: Re: The Covid all Ireland hurling championship 2020/21
Post by: seafoid on June 30, 2020, 03:18:01 PM
1/4 finals?

how this that worked out?

I presume two of the teams are the beaten provincial finalists, but how are the other two worked out?
2 qualifiers from the backdoor. Provincial.winners go to.semi..
I imagine.

I have gone to a lot of championship matches on August  and a lfew championship matches in November.  Championship is summer hurling. The hay saved.

Nobody saves hay in November because it rains too much and grass doesn't grow.

Would Tipp have the legs for intense mullocking 6 weekends in a row ?
 I think the bookies will struggle to price it this year.

Panels with depth required and you'd think the likes of Limerick are reasonably well equipped but you're still relying on keeping key players fit and well and there's a certain element of luck required there.
Even more so this year.

Laois could do well.
Title: Re: The Covid all Ireland hurling championship 2020/21
Post by: seafoid on July 01, 2020, 05:22:36 PM
Odds 7/1

Tipperary 10/3.
Limerick 7/2.
Kilkenny 11/2.
Galway 6/1.

Oddschecker
Title: Re: The Covid all Ireland hurling championship 2020/21
Post by: seafoid on July 29, 2020, 09:08:20 AM
https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/gaelic-games/hurling/shane-o-donnell-s-future-with-clare-uncertain-as-return-to-us-a-possibility-1.4315990

Clare hurler Shane O’Donnell has revealed he is uncertain about what his future holds beyond the completion of a PhD in autumn with one option being to return to the United States.

In what will go down as good news for Banner County supporters, gifted O’Donnell said he’s “leaning towards” remaining in Ireland and working here.

The 26-year-old, the star of Clare’s 2013 All-Ireland breakthrough when he struck 3-3 in the final replay defeat of Cork, spent six months at Harvard University in late 2018 and early 2019 on a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship.

The microbiology student is currently wrapping up a PhD in the area of gut bacteria and the hydrogen cycle within the gut at UCC and expects to be finished in October.
Title: Re: The Covid all Ireland hurling championship 2020/21
Post by: seafoid on September 03, 2020, 09:54:27 AM
https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/gaelic-games/hurling/nicky-english-helter-skelter-hurling-of-1995-final-is-scary-to-look-back-on-1.4344975

Nicky English: Helter-skelter hurling of 1995 final is scary to look back on
Clare’s victory over Offaly is unrecognisable from the modern game in many aspects
about 4 hours ago
 

 
Clare 1-13 Offaly 2-8
After what had been a blistering summer, the weather ran out in early September and the All-Ireland hurling final was played in wet and windy conditions.
Clare led by Ger Loughnane, bestriding the championship like a revivalist preacher, were the story of the summer, winning a first Munster championship since 1932 after which everything else was a bonus.
The final against Offaly was edgy and low scoring. The champions had only really opened up that summer in blowing Kilkenny out of the Leinster final and their inability to close the deal after Johnny Pilkington’s goal put them three up, cost them in the end.
There was drama aplenty. Clare full back – and current manager – Brian Lohan finished the match playing with a torn hamstring and Eamonn Taaffe, not listed in the programme came in on 50 minutes for Stephen McNamara and scored the decisive goal in the 66th minute, pouncing when Anthony Daly’s free came back off the crossbar.
In commentary Ger Canning says before Daly strikes that Taaffe is to be substituted. Seconds later, he scores the goal and is immediately replaced.
Scores level, Clare’s nerve is steadier and a 65 by Daly, followed by a Jamesie O’Connor free, takes them to a first All-Ireland in 81 years.
 Clare’s Fergus Tuohy and Johnny Pilkington of Offaly in action during the 1995 All-Ireland hurling final. Photograph: Inpho
In a way it was scary looking back at this. In 1995, I was still playing and had another year before calling it a day but it doesn’t feel that long ago. The hurling though is almost unrecognisable.
Paul Earley said in relation to the Football Review Committee that one of the reasons why the game compares badly with hurling is that the ball isn’t contested nearly as much.
Looking back at this match, it’s clear that even in modern hurling the ball isn’t contested as much as it was back in the era of the 1990s.
It’s fair to make some allowances for the poor conditions on the day but there is nothing like the time and space that players have now or at least would create for themselves these days.
Clare and Offaly gave each other hardly any space. There was far more hooking and blocking, tight marking and ferocious contests for the ball – helter-skelter stuff. As a result there’s nowhere near as much considered striking of the ball unlike the current game where it’s almost like playing your own ball and seeing who ends up scoring the most.
One of the reasons why there’s so much hooking and blocking is that players are attempting shots from positions they shouldn’t have been. Today you’d scoop the ball away or hand-pass it whereas back then everyone’s just trying to get rid of the ball, preferably as far away as possible.
It’s no surprise that the two best players on view were Brian Lohan and Kevin Kinahan, the two full backs. With all the high ball coming down on the square their job was to win possession and clear.
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They got blocked on several occasions but in the modern game they wouldn’t be looking for an almighty clearance all the time: there’d be a hand-pass back to the goalkeeper or a short stick pass to a spare man.
Certainly a corner back wouldn’t have the modern comfort zone, allowing him to take a whizzed puck-out with his back to whatever was coming at him on his own 20-metre line.
Even the crowd in the stand in 1995 would have got a heart attack if that happened. People are conditioned to it now – even Brian Cody!
The ferocity of the contest was reflected in the number of hurleys broken. From the third minute when Offaly full forward Pat O’Connor lost his, I counted four in the first half alone.
PJ O’Connell would probably have got a red card these days for a head-high challenge on Brian Whelahan, with his hurley straying up around the helmet. There was no intent or malice there but anything around the head generally gets you your marching orders in the modern game.
From the throw-in differences are obvious. Instead of trying to get possession, players let fly at the ball just looking to move it on. The first six plays are attempts to hit the ball along the ground – something very few opt to do now.
Eventually, PJ O’Connell’s stroke goes to Daithí Regan whose point in the first minute bodes well for the scoring rate but that’s not how things turn out. Clare take 11 minutes to score their first against Offaly’s two.
 Martin Hanamy of Offaly tussles with Stephen McNamara of Clare during the 1995 All-Ireland final. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Regan’s delivery of ball from the ground was outstanding but these days people would look at what the reward was rather than simply seeing the glory of a well-hit ground ball.
It’s an exciting contest because neither team gets away from the other but the hurling’s not great. To be fair conditions were poor with rain falling but in general touch isn’t as good as the modern game and scoring a lot more laboured.
By half-time Offaly lead 1-6 to 0-7 – the late goal by Michael Duignan not something Davy Fitzgerald would remember fondly after what had been an excellent season for him.
The final score of 1-13 to 2-8 was the lowest since 1987 when Galway beat Kilkenny 1-12 to 0-9, also on a very wet day but that too represents the difference in hurling styles between the contemporary and back then.
The 1995 total of 30 points (including goals) compares with 54 from last year’s final. Clare’s winning tally of 16 (1-13) is 18 lower than Tipperary’s in 2019, 34 (3-25). Over the decade the 1990s had an average winning total in All-Ireland finals of 20.3 compared to 28.2 in the decade just gone.
The losing average from the 2010s (21.9) would be enough to beat the winning average from the 1990s.
In some ways the game isn’t as disciplined these days in the context of responsibility for marking another player. Play is looser and has evolved into more of a scoring fest, which is what we want.
Equipment is far better because it’s far more consistent, thanks to standardisation. The shape of the hurleys is different. They’re longer than they would be now and the head or the bas is about half the size, which means the sweet spot on a modern stick is bigger.
Speaking to hurlers of my generation, when they puck around with their sons, there’s way more control with the hurleys. Sliotars are arguably too light now but they are beautiful to play with.
Standardisation has been a great improvement. For instance, look at the number of sticks broken in the 1995 final: if you broke your hurley back then you’d be devastated and not convinced that you’d be able to hit the ball as well with the new one.
In 1995, the definition of a good puck-out is how far you can hit it with maybe some thought put into the trajectory – but no matter how high it ended up going in the end, the farther it went the better.
This in turn creates the aerial contests. The battle between Clare centre forward PJ O’Connell and Offaly centre back Hubert Rigney is like a microcosm of the different styles. It’s ferocious but entirely legitimate.
Their job is to contest the ball. PJ’s role is to get it past the centre back, breaking it through the defensive line. Nowadays there’d be a sweeper there to pick up any loose ball but 25 years ago, he’s creating a secondary contest for one of his inside forwards.
He wants the outcome of the contest to be the ball in behind his man whereas Hubert wants it back out in front of him – the centre back’s function hasn’t changed as much but it’s not the same.
Mistakes helped to swing the outcome but it was an autumn day, not summer, which made conditions more difficult. Clare dominated the second half but their inability to take scores nearly cost them in the end.
They’d just 0-7 scored by half-time and with nearly half an hour gone in the second half, their total was only up to 0-10. In other words they managed 1-3 in the last five minutes or so.
Leaving out goals, overall they’d just seven points from play and four of those came from Fergie Tuohy who had a memorable afternoon, leaving three for everyone else. Offaly had only 0-4 from play. That’s 0-11 altogether. The figures for the last three All-Irelands average 0-28 from play, again not including goals.
It was a characteristic of the Clare team to be able to win despite a patchy conversion rate – 16 wides in this match – which was to their credit and also reflective of a very powerful defence with Ollie Baker coming back in a defensive midfield role.
Offaly made their own mistakes. After Johnny Pilkington’s goal put them three points ahead, 2-7 to 0-10, they missed a succession of chances to go four up but never managed it. As a result they were vulnerable to Clare’s late burst.
I don’t really enjoy watching old matches. Knowing the score spoils the whole experience no matter how enjoyable the result is but this was an interesting snapshot of a time that looks a lot farther away than it feels.
Title: Re: The Covid all Ireland hurling championship 2020/21
Post by: johnnycool on September 03, 2020, 11:08:45 AM
Funnily enough I was at a camogie game on Saturday and was talking to my old PE teacher who'd played football for St Galls back in the 80's when they were contesting the Ulster Final against Burren who went onto win the AI that year and someone had given him a DVD of the game.
He thought it was a terrible game, purely catch and kick with no discernible game plan and in his own words the modern game being far superior to what it was back then.

Hurling is probably no different with how you look at how the likes of Limerick play a possession based game that as Nicky says would have fans back then having heart palpitations..

 
Title: Re: The Covid all Ireland hurling championship 2020/21
Post by: sid waddell on September 03, 2020, 11:26:26 AM
Funnily enough I was at a camogie game on Saturday and was talking to my old PE teacher who'd played football for St Galls back in the 80's when they were contesting the Ulster Final against Burren who went onto win the AI that year and someone had given him a DVD of the game.
He thought it was a terrible game, purely catch and kick with no discernible game plan and in his own words the modern game being far superior to what it was back then.

Hurling is probably no different with how you look at how the likes of Limerick play a possession based game that as Nicky says would have fans back then having heart palpitations..
The possession game has been partly enabled by the evolution of the hurley itself - hurleys now have much larger bosses than in the 1990s, they're like what only goalkeepers used back then, but they're shorter and lighter

There was no such a thing as tactics in Gaelic football or hurling in the 1980s, you just drove the ball as far as you could

The most basic function of tactics is to have the ball, therefore hit and hope went out of fashion

Gaelic football has gained more as a sport from the evolution of tactics than hurling has, a furious tactic-less hurling match like Cork-Galway 1990 or Cork-Tipp 1991 was an incredible spectacle

Hurling has reached the point now where there are almost too many scores, 30 points is not uncommon now



Title: Re: The Covid all Ireland hurling championship 2020/21
Post by: johnnycool on September 03, 2020, 11:58:57 AM
Funnily enough I was at a camogie game on Saturday and was talking to my old PE teacher who'd played football for St Galls back in the 80's when they were contesting the Ulster Final against Burren who went onto win the AI that year and someone had given him a DVD of the game.
He thought it was a terrible game, purely catch and kick with no discernible game plan and in his own words the modern game being far superior to what it was back then.

Hurling is probably no different with how you look at how the likes of Limerick play a possession based game that as Nicky says would have fans back then having heart palpitations..
The possession game has been partly enabled by the evolution of the hurley itself - hurleys now have much larger bosses than in the 1990s, they're like what only goalkeepers used back then, but they're shorter and lighter

There was no such a thing as tactics in Gaelic football or hurling in the 1980s, you just drove the ball as far as you could

The most basic function of tactics is to have the ball, therefore hit and hope went out of fashion

Gaelic football has gained more as a sport from the evolution of tactics than hurling has, a furious tactic-less hurling match like Cork-Galway 1990 or Cork-Tipp 1991 was an incredible spectacle

Hurling has reached the point now where there are almost too many scores, 30 points is not uncommon now

Nicky hits on this with this comment and I entirely agree;

Sliotars are arguably too light now but they are beautiful to play with.

Points are regularly scored from well inside your own half which wasn't the case back in the day with the cork core wrapped in cotton thread.

I'd like to see the PU centres deadened a bit to ensure there's more hurling if you like before in the scoring range.
Title: Re: The Covid all Ireland hurling championship 2020/21
Post by: Jeepers Creepers on September 03, 2020, 12:15:19 PM
Very much all valid points. Plysically stronger/fitter players with larger bose hurls still hitting the same weighted ball as yesteryear. The question is how heavy would the ball have to be made to nulify this?? and do we now want the return of lower score games? As JC said it woul be nice to see more hurling before scoring.
Title: Re: The Covid all Ireland hurling championship 2020/21
Post by: Milltown Row2 on September 03, 2020, 11:31:12 PM
Very much all valid points. Plysically stronger/fitter players with larger bose hurls still hitting the same weighted ball as yesteryear. The question is how heavy would the ball have to be made to nulify this?? and do we now want the return of lower score games? As JC said it woul be nice to see more hurling before scoring.

Players and tactics would adopt to a heavier ball, lads are stronger and more skilful than before. Wouldn’t be long before someone says we need a heavier ball as they are scoring more!

Goal posts dimensions are the same and pitches same length. Bose size is within regulation, the problem with the ball it changed because materials to produce them changed.

It so happens that ball stays drier stronger than before, be been striking a ball for 40 years, i can’t remember it (unless sogging wet) being that much heavier
Title: Re: The Covid all Ireland hurling championship 2020/21
Post by: seafoid on September 10, 2020, 08:49:57 AM
I was reading this article from last year recently. I wonder how tactics will develop to match conditions in November, assuming the championship goes ahead. Summer hurling is about accuracy , intensity and energy building confidence. Accuracy is likely to be lower post Halloween with the mud and the cold. Plus there probably won't be any crowds.

https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/gaelic-games/hurling/jackie-tyrrell-battle-for-middle-ground-will-decide-who-stands-out-from-the-crowd-1.3841966

Dropping people into the middle third has been in the game for a number of years, especially with deep-lying wing forwards. But this is more than that. It’s more extreme now and more deliberate. What you’re looking at is whole half-forward lines and whole half-back lines plus an inside forward and his marker all following the dropping ball to get in around it when it breaks.
On Sunday, the message was simple – flood the middle third, win the ball by having a numerical advantage in the area of the field, work the ball in triangles from there. The idea then is to get the best player in the best launching position who can look up and play a killer ball into pockets of space in front of goal for the inside men.
Sounds simple but, in reality, a lot of precisely-executed skills have to be performed repeatedly for this to work. It’s not enough to be physically strong around the middle. You need to be quick and sharp with the pick-up, you need to be aware of your surroundings and able to get a pass away with up to five or six bodies closing on you. You need to be calm under pressure.
Dirty ball
For it to work you need an animal work-rate to win dirty ball, with a high volume of players occupying this area. Next you need a really good half-back line to distribute the ball to the inside forwards. For the strike forwards left up there, off-the-ball running is the key.
•   They need to run laterally and be patient to create the space, they need to time their run to secure possession out in front. After that, it’s either shoot or lay-off to a runner coming from midfield.
•   If you can be the team that repeatedly emerges from the fight in the middle with the ball, the advantages are huge. Straight away, you’ve created space in the two most dangerous areas of the pitch. All the bodies that have been sucked into the centre of the pitch aren’t getting in the way of either your inside forwards or the player striking the ball into them. It won’t always be perfect but when it works, you will have your best forward in possession 20 metres from goal, usually one-on-one.

The idea then is to get the best player in the best launching position who can look up and play a killer ball into pockets of space in front of goal for the inside men.
Sounds simple but, in reality, a lot of precisely-executed skills have to be performed repeatedly for this to work. It’s not enough to be physically strong around the middle. You need to be quick and sharp with the pick-up, you need to be aware of your surroundings and able to get a pass away with up to five or six bodies closing on you. You need to be calm under pressure.
Title: Re: The Covid all Ireland hurling championship 2020/21
Post by: seafoid on September 14, 2020, 03:31:54 PM
https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/gaelic-games/hurling/cork-s-near-record-dry-spell-casts-minds-back-to-2004-05-glory-days-1.4351958

Cork’s near-record dry spell casts minds back to 2004-05 glory days
Former manager John Allen recalls excitement and challenges of his period in charge
Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 06:32
Seán Moran


It falls today, predictably without too much fanfare, but it is now 15 years since Cork last won the All-Ireland hurling title. Having survived a slight frisson against Galway in the 2005 final, the county ultimately recorded back-to-back titles for the first time since 1978.
Few would have imagined that at least a decade and a half would pass without the county seeing Liam MacCarthy again. By this stage Cork hurling is just one year short of its record dry spell of 16 years, set between 1903 and 1919. Even the fabled 12-year famine that ended in 1966 has been eclipsed.
John Allen was the manager in 2005, having stepped up to take over the reigning champions when Dónal O’Grady called it a day. Apart from a successful cameo with Limerick, winning a Munster title in 2013, he has had hardly any involvement in the game as manager, but from a distance reflects on what befell the county after the 2005 win.
“So much happened in the immediate aftermath of 2005 when you had a number of strikes, a lot of uncertainty and a lot of unfriendliness going on outside of the playing field and it divided an awful lot of people. From 2007 to 2013 there was a bit of a tug going on all the time between the board and the players. And that didn’t help.”
He doesn’t, however, want the difficulties of what followed to overshadow the players’ achievements in progressing from the rubble of their first strike in late 2002 to reach the next four All-Ireland hurling finals, winning two.
“They had won two U-21 All-Irelands and fought a very divisive battle with the boardroom, but came through to put their sporting selves where their collective mouth had been and did deliver on the field. That created enormous hype around the team when they did get to four finals.
“So much has happened between ’05 and now that it seems so long ago.”
Allen is keen to emphasise that the battle to assert themselves before being overtaken by Brian Cody’s rising Kilkenny in 2006 wasn’t just a tale of grim struggle.
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“It does feel like a generation ago given the excitement of that time in Cork when we reached four All-Ireland finals in a row and there was huge interest in the county in tickets and children’s days – jeez, there must have been thousands of them, particularly the first year [2003] when Setanta Ó hAilpín was involved.
“It was like Justin Bieber being down in the Park. Literally we nearly needed security to get him off the field one of the nights. There was this sort of excitement there between 2003 and ’06.”
The team’s line on the graph crossed Kilkenny’s in that final year. A potential three-in-a-row for Cork became the starting point for what nearly turned out to be five for Kilkenny.
Although the previous years had been intense, Allen doesn’t believe that defeat in what was to be his final match in charge of Cork was the result of fatigue.
“It was a long process, going from the dispute in 2002 up until losing to Kilkenny in ’06 – and being well beaten. There had been a huge amount happening but also a whole lot of positives. I don’t know that we were tired.
“I remember being down in Inchydoney the previous weekend and we played an A v B game and the quality of it was outstanding and I just couldn’t see us being beaten. JJ Delaney [Kilkenny’s All-Star defender] was injured and we were in good shape. I don’t think you could put it down to tiredness, there was such buoyancy there.
“Kilkenny proved many times afterwards that they could come up with plans to stop another team and always had the ability to come up with something different in a replay. They did it with us by stopping our runners and we weren’t ready for it.”
He remains sad about how fractious everything became in his absence and the decision not to persevere with Ger Cunningham and the remainder of his management team. The friction with the county board led to further strikes, and the intervention of the then new GAA chief executive Páraic Duffy and the best-known industrial relations mediator in the country, Kieran Mulvey.
Allen is also unhappy at the serrated attitudes towards those players – who he describes as “very good, wholesome people” – from some in the county, agreeing that this pains him.
“It does because anyone who worked with them . . . Dónal Óg [Cusack], who was the strongest character in that group, if I wanted someone in my backroom team who I know would give 100 per cent, it would be him.”
Cusack has combined with former team-mates Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, Tom Kenny and Kieran Murphy to take a first step on the ladder of management in Cork.
“They’re working with the minors now and I hear only good things back from parents involved. Seán Óg is another who gets bad press from time to time but he’s a special guy, a decent, lovely man who’s good with young people and does anything he’s asked, like presenting medals and visiting people. It galls me to hear the things said about them by people who don’t know them at all.”
In Allen’s view, the growth of a toxic social media environment has made it challenging for people taking such public roles.
“Nobody would be involved in anything were they to take it too seriously.”