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Hurling Discussion / National Hurling league round 2
« on: February 26, 2010, 08:37:07 PM »
Here we go for another week
Limerick V Cork Last years strikers V this years. Although Justins team appear better than Geralds last year they still will not be able to match Cork who should win with a bit to spare
Dublin V Tipp: Last week was very poor for Dublin. Anthony Daly will be looking for a reaction from his players. He may well get one but not enough to beat Tipp IMO. Tipp by about 5
Galway V Waterford: May well be the match of the weekend. Waterford were impressive against Dublin and Galway did just about enough against Limerick. I think Galway will improve this week a nick a tight one Galway by two
Kilkenny V Offaly : Offaly must have annoyed someone in Croke Park. Trips to Leeside and Nowlan park for your first two games is a bit unfair. Offaly did beat KK in the walsh cup and put up a decent show for about 55 minutes against Cork however the Cats will want revenge for the walsh cup and should get it.
Whoever Offaly annoyed Down must have upset also because they follow up a trip to Ennis with one to Wexford. After a hiding last week this week things will be similar but maybe not so clinical. Wexford with a bit in hand
Carlow still hurting from a one point reverse in Belfast wil be looking to get a win under their belts against westmeath. This will be a close one but home advantage might swing it for westmeath.
Kildare get to host Antrim who are a long way from being world beaters but should have too much for Kildare
The last match in Div 2 is Laois against Clare. This could be a close exciting game if Laois can play to the top of their ability but even so I would still expect Clare to edge them.
Lower down wins for London Kerry and Meath fingal and South Down ( maybe)

Hurling Discussion / National Hurling league Round 1
« on: February 19, 2010, 09:16:15 PM »
This weekend sees the return of the national league and starts with a bang with Tipp V Kilkenny at Semple Stadium on Saturday Night. Kilkenny can be vunerable early in the year and Tipp have had 6 months to stew on the all ireland final loss. I expect Tipp to lay down an early season marker and beat the Cats on Saturday night in a game that may prove spicy.
The following day sees Galway travel to Limerick where anything other than a comprehensive Galway win will be a major surprise. Offaly who started the season well beating the Cats have a tough trip to Leeside to face Cork. With no strike this year and a lot of players in the last chance saloon I expect Cork to have a good season and should begin with a win against Offaly in what could be a decent match. The last match in Division one sees Waterford at home to Dublin. Anthony Daly has a big task this year to avoid suffering second season syndrome. After a good division one campaign and a Leinster final appearance the Dubs will be hoping for big things this year. They may well have a good year but my money is on waterford to see them off on Sunday.
Dropping down a level to Division 2 Clare with a new management team get to start life in the lower reaches against Down in Ennis. Down who also have a new manager are always game but with the long trip and the quality of the opposition I expect them to return empty handed. Elsewhere after an encouraging end to last season Laois start again against Kildare in a midlands derby. While it is good to see Kildare making strides in hurling I fear Divisuion 2 is a step too far and expect Laois to beat them with a bit to spare.
Westmeath welcome Wexford on Sunday and will want to improve on what was a disapointing 2009 for them. The sight of Carlow in the Liam McCarthy must annoy any westmeath hurling supporter who must wonder why it is not them. It is up to westmeath to do something about it starting against wexford. I do not think they will be able to with Wexford winning by a few points. Last in Division 2 is Antrim against the aforementioned Carlow. Having beaten Antrim twice in 12 months Carlow will see this as a possible away 2 points. Antrim with home advantage will think otherwise. This will be the tightest game in Division 2 on sunday with ( hopefully ) Antrim edging home by a couple of points, although in the absence of the St Galls and Dunloy players I am not overly confident.
Lower down I will go for wins for London, Armagh and Dery although without much confidence.
The Tyrone manager reckons he has only 13 players so Donegal should deal with them with Louth and Fingal winning with home advantage
In Div 4 wins for Monaghan, Lietrim and South Down???

Hurling Discussion / Tipp V Clare
« on: June 19, 2009, 04:26:28 PM »
Friday, 19 June 2009 13:05
What a difference a year makes. When these two sides met in the Munster final just under 12 months ago Clare were on a high following impressive victories over Waterford and Limeick.

And even though they were beaten on the day and would eventually exit the All-Ireland series at the hands of Cork at the quarter-final stage, there was the feeling that the Banner were heading in the right direction.

But whatever progress was made last summer dissipated in a NHL Division One campaign that ended with relegation and amid persistent rumours of problems within the camp.

And the loss of full-back Conor Cooney through an ankle ligament injury doesn't bode well for Mike McNamara's men.

For Tipp, on the other hand, the outlook is good. A hard-fought win over Cork, which followed a narrow defeat in their epic league final defeat to Kilkenny, will have brought them up to Championship speed, which will be a distinct advantage over Sunday's opponents.

Add to that the confidence that is exuding from the Premier County these days, and it is hard to see anything but a comfortable win at the Gaelic Grounds for Liam Sheedy's men.

Sheedy has wisely decided not t**ker too much with a winning formula, with Pat Kerwick coming into the forward line at the expense of Micheál Webster the only change in personnel.

Eoin Kelly was a surprise starter the last day, but the Mullinahone sharpshooter showed no signs of the back trouble that saw him sit out the league campaign.

There is always the chance that wounded pride could bring the best out of Clare, but even then they would struggle against a Tipp side with Kilkenny's All-Ireland crown in their sights.

Verdict: Tipperary

Taken from

Wouldnt hold out a lot of hope for Clare in this match although Tipp were not overly impressive the last day against Cork especially when Cork upped the tempo in the second half. Sheedy seemed to panic in the second half and they just about held out. However Tipps problems pale into insignifigance compared to Clares. A horrible league for Clare followed by a row with Gerry Quinn. Currenyly missing a full back and pulling Griffin back to midfield and Markham to the half backs looks very much like damage limitation from mike mac. Tipp with a bit to spare.

Hurling Discussion / Well done the Biffos
« on: July 12, 2008, 08:53:59 PM »
Great result for Offally today, first win over a munster county for a right few years for the Biffos
Offaly 3-19 Limerick 0-18

Saturday, 12 July 2008 20:48
Offaly shocked last year's beaten All-Ireland finalists Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds to advance to the next round of All-Ireland qualifiers.

Full-forward Joe Bergin scored a hat-trick of goals as the Faithful County bounced back from their Leinster Championship defeat at the hands of Kilkenny.

Offaly led by 2-11 to 0-6 at half-time and held off an early second half revival from Limerick to re-assert complete control.

Limerick substitute Denis Moloney was lucky not to see red late on for a wild pull on Joe Brady.

Hurling Discussion / Michael Lyster sorts out the championship
« on: June 28, 2008, 05:45:28 PM »

"There is a trend emerging this summer in Gaelic Games which the GAA are going to have to make some big calls on in the very near future.

And no, I'm not talking about discipline, suspensions, appeals or anything of that nature. I'm talking about the growing lack of appetite amongst players for back door systems, second chance saloons and consolation competitions for small fry prizes.

Send us your comments here.

It is clear that there are so many demands and pressures on amateur players these days that there is an understandable dip in enthusiasm once the prospect of a big prize has gone. 

Make no mistake about it, provincial titles are still big prizes, not just because they put silverware on the sideboard and medals in the pocket but also, obviously, because it means that you're winning and still on Route One for the big one, the All-Ireland title itself.

Once you've suffered a defeat in the province you've already dramatically cut any prospect of being rewarded for your trojan efforts and most are left with a summer facing ultimate failure no matter how heroic the effort.

Limerick hurlers will tell you exactly how that scenario pans out. Last year they were involved in some of the most exciting matches of the summer. We admired them and at times we secretly urged them on.

But when the dust had settled Kilkenny had taken the All-Ireland title, Waterford had won out in both Munster and the National League and Limerick ended up with the same amount silverware as Leitrim - none.

I imagine it will require a massive commitment from the Limerick players again this summer to push themselves through the next few weeks fully aware that, once again, there just might not be anything to show for it.

I can see this realisation growing on a lot of players this year and it's telling that we see a number of managers either appealing to teams to make a bit of an effort or, worse,  stepping down because they simply have not been able to persuade players to turn up for training.

Local media and phone-in shows that allow every Tom, Dick and Harry to come on and lambaste you in the harshest terms have also added to a feeling amongst many players and managers that they really don't need all the hassle.

The thing about the old knockout system was; okay, your season could be over in May and there was a clear desire to give players more matches. But those matches and competitions have to be meaningful.

Not much point in breaking your backside all the way into August only to have confirmed something that was perhaps obvious three months earlier, and that is that you weren't good enough to win the All-Ireland in the first case.

At least under the old system, once you were beaten you could plan your holidays or take a summer job abroad.

Hardly any wonder then that this year we have seen a growing number of players announcing that they're off once the first setback to the Championship dream has occurred.

So, these are the problems but what is the solution? There are changes this year to the Hurling Championship structure and there will be changes in football for next year's Championship.

The GAA continue to try and find a better balance, but in my view we're still a good bit off the mark.

Here's something which myself and Marty Morrissey have come up with during one of those rare idle moments we have in RTÉ!

In hurling, you take a designated 12 top counties and you divide them into four groups of three. Allocate two groups to Munster and two to Leinster with Galway going into one province (possibly Munster) and Antrim into the other.

Play off a round robin system leaving you with a bottom team in each group who are then eliminated.

This leaves you with eight teams, four in each province who would then play straight knock-out semi-finals and finals to decide the two provincial winners.

Let's just take one province, say Munster, to show you what I mean. 

We have an open draw for the two groups (we conducted one here in the office and this is how it worked out):

Group One: Tipp, Cork and Waterford. Group Two: Clare, Limerick and Galway. 

After the round robin let's just say that order was the finishing order - in other words Waterford and Galway finishing bottom. It would then be Tipp versus Cork in one semi-final and Clare versus Limerick in the other. 

In the All-Ireland semi-finals, the provincial winners would play the losing finalists in the other.

To be honest, I would actually favour a complete open draw from the 12 teams to make it a much more balanced and interesting Championship. An open draw system would also give you straight quarter-finals and semi-finals.

However, we all know that such a system would be an impossible sell to the GAA at the moment because it eliminates the provincial Championships. Therefore, the first proposal is the one to go for if you want to retain Munster and Leinster.

I have a similar idea for the football and I'll pan out a mock Championship draw here on the site next week for that.

In the meantime, any takers for the hurling idea? We'd love to know what you think. "

Given some of the poor hurling on show this year so far and some that is still to come it is pretty clear that something needs a shake up. I do not like all the tinkering with the championship but at least this proposal gives each county the same chance unlike the current system. I also believe promtion and relegation from the christy ring should be reintroduced, either based on league or championship performance.

Hurling Discussion / Congratulations to Potumna
« on: March 17, 2008, 03:38:49 PM »
Well done to Portumna on a very convincing victory in todays all ireland final. After a poor start they slowly started to take control and a scoring blitz either side of half time basically won them the game. Damian and Kevin Hayes were excellent and big Joe is deadly from placed balls. Two all irelands in three years is some going, who fancies stopping them going for a third?

Hurling Discussion / National hurling league Round 1
« on: February 08, 2008, 08:44:25 PM »
The national league starts this weekend, not that you would know it on here from all the intrest being show in here. Any talk and or team news from around the country. If Cork get kicked out of the league that leaves Antrim and Dublin with only one home match each, is that fair? Should the fixtures be reworked to give each team two home and two away matches as suggested by John McSparran today.
Will Limerick carry on from last years run to the all ireland and challenge for a national league? Can Tipps new management push for a league title which would represent good progress for them, with a possible bye to the munster final this year could Tipp be the surprise team this year? Do Waterford still have the legs for another tilt at Liam, I can't see  them putting too much into this years league but perhaps some of the waterford posters know better than me.
What about further down the leagues can Armagh survive in what looks like a tough Div 2 for them? Will anyone in Kerry/Mayo/Meath take any intrest in the small ball game?
Can Donegal make a push and top Div 3 this year? I saw some of their club players this year and they are pretty good for Div 3.
Is anyone going to any of the matches or even remotely intrested???

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