Author Topic: Ulster Hurling Championship gone for three years.  (Read 1341 times)

johnneycool

  • Guest
Ulster Hurling Championship gone for three years.
« on: January 25, 2018, 11:04:30 AM »
From the Bel Tel;

By Declan Bogue

January 24 2018

 
A couple of weeks ago, the Antrim hurlers and management were finishing their post-match meal after winning the Conor McGurk Cup when they learned that they would not be allowed to defend their Ulster Hurling Championship title.


 
The decision itself had been arrived at during the November meeting of the Ulster Council Competitions Control Committee, at which every county is represented. While it is not surprising that the views of major stakeholders in competitions - the players - were not sought, there is a certain logic to this development.

When Brian McAvoy took over as Ulster Council Secretary just over a year ago, he was determined to leave his stamp on things. He has proved himself a man of action.

Slash! There goes the Ulster Senior Championship. Wallop! Out goes the Minor Championship. Bang! That's the sound of the door closing on the Under-21 Championship.

In his address to the Ulster AGM this Saturday, McAvoy outlines the reasons with logic.

"While the Ulster Hurling Championships have a special place in all of our hearts the decision was taken in the best interests of hurling in Ulster," he notes.

"In 2017 the Ulster Senior Hurling Championship was moved to an April slot at the behest of the counties but it failed to capture the imagination of either the players or the public, with a combined attendance of just around 1,000 people at its three games."

The practice of minors and under-21s gaining passage to an All-Ireland semi-final has been woefully outdated. Last year Antrim minors lost heavily to Dublin at the semi-final stage, and at under-21 level Derry were beaten by 52 points by Kilkenny. There is no point continuing. What the Ulster Council have done here is an act of supreme mercy.

The newly-created Tier 2 competition, named after former GAA President and All-Ireland winning Galway hurler Joe McDonagh, will involve Antrim against Carlow, Meath, Westmeath, Kerry, Laois and the third placed teams in the round-robin five team leagues in Munster and Leinster, which is the format of the Liam MacCarthy Cup now.

Running from May to July, it's impossible to discern any difference between the Joe McDonagh Cup and last year's Christy Ring Cup. But the inclusion of Liam MacCarthy-standard teams, along with the carrot of qualifying for the Liam MacCarthy the year after, offers a clear pathway to regular games at a higher level.

Right now, we must see it as a positive development.

Where we must part company with their thinking is the scrapping of the senior competition.

Attendance figures were quoted as a means to back up the argument. That around 1,000 made it to these games last year is significant.

McAvoy himself attended the Armagh v Down game at Inniskeen.

After Down were defeated, stand-in manager Gary Savage, a Down hurling diehard if ever there was one, almost choked on his words as he outlined their problems in 2017: "At the start of the year we had 28 players. We came here today with 19 or 20 players. A lot of boys just don't commit. The county is not good enough for them, or whatever.

"It's one of the reasons we came back, me and Marty (Mallon), we wanted to give the thing a bit of a lift, to win something or do something. But it has nearly turned around on us the wrong way."

Somewhere along the way, Ulster hurling has become deeply unfashionable. That does not mean there is no appetite for top-quality hurling, as evidenced by the 6,142 that turned up to watch Slaughtneil and Dunloy in the Ulster club.

The Championship is suspended for three years. What will change in the meantime? How do you promote a game by taking away what is meant to be the showpiece occasion in the province?

But if you take the overall health of Ulster hurling now, from where it was 20 years ago, it makes for grim analysis.

Antrim have slipped badly over the last five years, albeit there are signs of standards rising again.

Expectations of Down hurling is as low as it's been in 40 years.

There are a host of counties that have plateaued such as Donegal, Tyrone, Monaghan and Armagh.

Cavan are only going back into the leagues now after pulling out in 2011. Fermanagh are down to one club.

Someone, somewhere, should be held accountable for this. Clubs have withered on the vine and volunteers have become disillusioned, over-burned by work.

Brian McAvoy has shown in his first 12 months that he backs up his talk with action.

Time for the former Down Hurling Committee Chairman to get to the root of hurling's ills.

Belfast Telegraph


Can't say I'm surprised as the Ulster Senior Championship had run its course and was proving a hindrance to all involved.

However I think the U21 and U17(minor) still could have a place in the calendar although I do know Down U17 hurlers are in a Leinster championship of sorts as well as Antrim, but I don't see anything about Armagh, Derry, Tyrone or Donegal who might be just playing in the Celtic Challenge and that's not enough IMO.

U21 wise I see a slot for Ulster with (Antrim/Down) . I'm not sure what that is TBH. I can't see it being an amalgamation, Maybe there will be a one off game, but considering Derry beat both last year where are they?

johnneycool

  • Guest
Re: Ulster Hurling Championship gone for three years.
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2018, 11:39:49 AM »
U21's sorted;

Comhairle Laighean have agreed to accommodate one Ulster county in the 2018 Leinster Under 21 Hurling Championship. Aontroim and An Dķn have confirmed that they wish to compete for this place. The winners will progress to the Leinster Championship while the losers of this play off will participate in the All Ireland B competition along with the other Ulster counties who have entered.

Milltown Row2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 17828
  • It was the Ref that did it!!
    • View Profile
Re: Ulster Hurling Championship gone for three years.
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2018, 01:11:25 PM »
So where do we go from here? I can get that it was becoming a farce, and Antrim have been playing in Leinster Championship at senior level and Walsh cup (which they won a few years ago ;) )

But its just another nail in the coffin for Ulster hurling, we are decades away from competing, providing the other teams don't improve!!!

Felt sorry for Gary Savage after reading that article, as committed gael you'll see feeling that bad on the state of their county hurling
Anything I post is not the view of the County Board!! Nobody died in the making of this post ;-)

manfromdelmonte

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2192
    • View Profile
Re: Ulster Hurling Championship gone for three years.
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2018, 02:31:54 PM »
nobody to blame but yerselves

if Mayo can go from having only one proper hurling club 20 years ago to competing in the christy ring and Westmeath being competitive in Leinster hurling then there is no reason for Antrim not to be competitive considering how many clubs are up there

Milltown Row2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 17828
  • It was the Ref that did it!!
    • View Profile
Re: Ulster Hurling Championship gone for three years.
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2018, 03:01:01 PM »
nobody to blame but yerselves

if Mayo can go from having only one proper hurling club 20 years ago to competing in the christy ring and Westmeath being competitive in Leinster hurling then there is no reason for Antrim not to be competitive considering how many clubs are up there

Your right, I'm not denying that, a lot of club politics too in that we are mre interested in how the club do rather than the county ffs
Anything I post is not the view of the County Board!! Nobody died in the making of this post ;-)

johnneycool

  • Guest
Re: Ulster Hurling Championship gone for three years.
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2018, 03:35:05 PM »
nobody to blame but yerselves

if Mayo can go from having only one proper hurling club 20 years ago to competing in the christy ring and Westmeath being competitive in Leinster hurling then there is no reason for Antrim not to be competitive considering how many clubs are up there

Westmeath and Mayo are within an hours drive from a traditional hurling county. It's easier to organise friendlies etc, etc when you don't have a three day camel trek to a competitive county. Antrim and the Glens in particular are geographically isolated from the rest of the true hurling hotbeds and that has cost implications across the board.
Entering Leinster is the only option but travelling and hotels etc etc is a huge expense over the various teams, development squads and so forth.

manfromdelmonte

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2192
    • View Profile
Re: Ulster Hurling Championship gone for three years.
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2018, 11:12:35 PM »
nobody to blame but yerselves

if Mayo can go from having only one proper hurling club 20 years ago to competing in the christy ring and Westmeath being competitive in Leinster hurling then there is no reason for Antrim not to be competitive considering how many clubs are up there

Westmeath and Mayo are within an hours drive from a traditional hurling county. It's easier to organise friendlies etc, etc when you don't have a three day camel trek to a competitive county. Antrim and the Glens in particular are geographically isolated from the rest of the true hurling hotbeds and that has cost implications across the board.
Entering Leinster is the only option but travelling and hotels etc etc is a huge expense over the various teams, development squads and so forth.
motorway all the way to Dublin for ye
its the clubs in Westmeath who pulled the standard of hurling up

ulster clubs should be looking to get clubs up from the south to play - meath, dublin, kildare
I've never got an email about a tournament being run at adult or underage
a sevens competition, an U12 tournament, anything

and that's in 7 years being involved with an underage committee and adult hurling squad

I've been up in Antrim regularly and the clubs and club people up there have a hugely inflated sense of their own ability and standing in the hurling world
its actually been great to see the likes of Slaughtneil show what can be done

Milltown Row2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 17828
  • It was the Ref that did it!!
    • View Profile
Re: Ulster Hurling Championship gone for three years.
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2018, 11:26:51 PM »
As much as SíNeil have done itís not sustainable and against the record of competing Antrim clubs falls pretty short in comparison...

Antrim fo need to get their house in order as they are falling behind but heading to Westmeath to play a club team wonít make Antrim club hurlers any better. Dublin yes as Johnny said though from Ballycastle  to Dublin is a 7 hour round  trip.
Anything I post is not the view of the County Board!! Nobody died in the making of this post ;-)

Fear Bun Na Sceilpe

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 783
    • View Profile
Re: Ulster Hurling Championship gone for three years.
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2018, 12:40:47 AM »
Can anyone confirm if Derry have entered u21B?

manfromdelmonte

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2192
    • View Profile
Re: Ulster Hurling Championship gone for three years.
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2018, 07:54:45 AM »
As much as SíNeil have done itís not sustainable and against the record of competing Antrim clubs falls pretty short in comparison...

Antrim fo need to get their house in order as they are falling behind but heading to Westmeath to play a club team wonít make Antrim club hurlers any better. Dublin yes as Johnny said though from Ballycastle  to Dublin is a 7 hour round  trip.
why don't Antrim organise a special Antrim Feile and get clubs up to play games over one weekend?
same at U17 level?

johnneycool

  • Guest
Re: Ulster Hurling Championship gone for three years.
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2018, 09:46:29 AM »
nobody to blame but yerselves

if Mayo can go from having only one proper hurling club 20 years ago to competing in the christy ring and Westmeath being competitive in Leinster hurling then there is no reason for Antrim not to be competitive considering how many clubs are up there

Westmeath and Mayo are within an hours drive from a traditional hurling county. It's easier to organise friendlies etc, etc when you don't have a three day camel trek to a competitive county. Antrim and the Glens in particular are geographically isolated from the rest of the true hurling hotbeds and that has cost implications across the board.
Entering Leinster is the only option but travelling and hotels etc etc is a huge expense over the various teams, development squads and so forth.
motorway all the way to Dublin for ye
its the clubs in Westmeath who pulled the standard of hurling up

ulster clubs should be looking to get clubs up from the south to play - meath, dublin, kildare
I've never got an email about a tournament being run at adult or underage
a sevens competition, an U12 tournament, anything

and that's in 7 years being involved with an underage committee and adult hurling squad

I've been up in Antrim regularly and the clubs and club people up there have a hugely inflated sense of their own ability and standing in the hurling world
its actually been great to see the likes of Slaughtneil show what can be done

what club are you involved with? I'll get you an invite north no bother.

FYI we'd MLR and St Rynaghs up at our place last year, the year before that we'd Tullaroan up. Ratoath were also up at an U12 Blitz, Crokes were meant to come but pulled out the week leading up to it but have been up in the recent past.

We've also had juvenile teams down at the Faughs tournament and other teams at Ballyragget (  ;D  ) as well to play challenge matches.


johnneycool

  • Guest
Re: Ulster Hurling Championship gone for three years.
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2018, 09:55:48 AM »
As much as SíNeil have done itís not sustainable and against the record of competing Antrim clubs falls pretty short in comparison...

Antrim fo need to get their house in order as they are falling behind but heading to Westmeath to play a club team wonít make Antrim club hurlers any better. Dublin yes as Johnny said though from Ballycastle  to Dublin is a 7 hour round  trip.
why don't Antrim organise a special Antrim Feile and get clubs up to play games over one weekend?
same at U17 level?

North Antrim already do this with their festival of hurling albeit at regional development squad level.

Milltown Row2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 17828
  • It was the Ref that did it!!
    • View Profile
Re: Ulster Hurling Championship gone for three years.
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2018, 10:08:55 AM »
nobody to blame but yerselves

if Mayo can go from having only one proper hurling club 20 years ago to competing in the christy ring and Westmeath being competitive in Leinster hurling then there is no reason for Antrim not to be competitive considering how many clubs are up there

Westmeath and Mayo are within an hours drive from a traditional hurling county. It's easier to organise friendlies etc, etc when you don't have a three day camel trek to a competitive county. Antrim and the Glens in particular are geographically isolated from the rest of the true hurling hotbeds and that has cost implications across the board.
Entering Leinster is the only option but travelling and hotels etc etc is a huge expense over the various teams, development squads and so forth.
motorway all the way to Dublin for ye
its the clubs in Westmeath who pulled the standard of hurling up

ulster clubs should be looking to get clubs up from the south to play - meath, dublin, kildare
I've never got an email about a tournament being run at adult or underage
a sevens competition, an U12 tournament, anything

and that's in 7 years being involved with an underage committee and adult hurling squad

I've been up in Antrim regularly and the clubs and club people up there have a hugely inflated sense of their own ability and standing in the hurling world
its actually been great to see the likes of Slaughtneil show what can be done

what club are you involved with? I'll get you an invite north no bother.

FYI we'd MLR and St Rynaghs up at our place last year, the year before that we'd Tullaroan up. Ratoath were also up at an U12 Blitz, Crokes were meant to come but pulled out the week leading up to it but have been up in the recent past.

We've also had juvenile teams down at the Faughs tournament and other teams at Ballyragget (  ;D  ) as well to play challenge matches.

As you know Jonny we run tournaments every year, we invite so many teams and very difficult to leave clubs out but we try and bring in different ones but travel arrangements for a 10am 10.30 start is difficult enough for our North Antrim clubs nevermind bringing up teams from Kilkenny and south Dublin!

Its the coaching that has to change, speed, skills and dedication required, I could throttle some kids now with the attitude they show, they want to be winners but on their terms.

For me the hurl has to be in the hand at all times, working of gable walls if your in the city or in a nearby park.. training that bit extra each and every day will help, if you drive through west Belfast and I dont see kids out with their hurls, flip I remember the gable walls were lined with grown men playing handball and the other one lads playing 'lives' with their hurls, now I think kids hurl at school and the stick is away till club training then away till match day!  Nowhere near enough time spent on the basics for me!

Anything I post is not the view of the County Board!! Nobody died in the making of this post ;-)

johnneycool

  • Guest
Re: Ulster Hurling Championship gone for three years.
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2018, 10:25:22 AM »
nobody to blame but yerselves

if Mayo can go from having only one proper hurling club 20 years ago to competing in the christy ring and Westmeath being competitive in Leinster hurling then there is no reason for Antrim not to be competitive considering how many clubs are up there

Westmeath and Mayo are within an hours drive from a traditional hurling county. It's easier to organise friendlies etc, etc when you don't have a three day camel trek to a competitive county. Antrim and the Glens in particular are geographically isolated from the rest of the true hurling hotbeds and that has cost implications across the board.
Entering Leinster is the only option but travelling and hotels etc etc is a huge expense over the various teams, development squads and so forth.
motorway all the way to Dublin for ye
its the clubs in Westmeath who pulled the standard of hurling up

ulster clubs should be looking to get clubs up from the south to play - meath, dublin, kildare
I've never got an email about a tournament being run at adult or underage
a sevens competition, an U12 tournament, anything

and that's in 7 years being involved with an underage committee and adult hurling squad

I've been up in Antrim regularly and the clubs and club people up there have a hugely inflated sense of their own ability and standing in the hurling world
its actually been great to see the likes of Slaughtneil show what can be done

what club are you involved with? I'll get you an invite north no bother.

FYI we'd MLR and St Rynaghs up at our place last year, the year before that we'd Tullaroan up. Ratoath were also up at an U12 Blitz, Crokes were meant to come but pulled out the week leading up to it but have been up in the recent past.

We've also had juvenile teams down at the Faughs tournament and other teams at Ballyragget (  ;D  ) as well to play challenge matches.

As you know Jonny we run tournaments every year, we invite so many teams and very difficult to leave clubs out but we try and bring in different ones but travel arrangements for a 10am 10.30 start is difficult enough for our North Antrim clubs nevermind bringing up teams from Kilkenny and south Dublin!

Its the coaching that has to change, speed, skills and dedication required, I could throttle some kids now with the attitude they show, they want to be winners but on their terms.

For me the hurl has to be in the hand at all times, working of gable walls if your in the city or in a nearby park.. training that bit extra each and every day will help, if you drive through west Belfast and I dont see kids out with their hurls, flip I remember the gable walls were lined with grown men playing handball and the other one lads playing 'lives' with their hurls, now I think kids hurl at school and the stick is away till club training then away till match day!  Nowhere near enough time spent on the basics for me!

Rossa run a great wee U12 tournament as well, so its not as if there's nothing at all going on as Manfromdelmonte thinks and a lot of it is indeed club volunteer driven.