Imokilly manager Fergal Condon says the east Cork divisional side have built up momentum through match practice — tonight’s Cork SHC replay against Sarsfields (Páirc Uí Rinn, 7pm) has them approaching two dozen outings together as a team.
We await the exact reasoning behind the Disputes Resolution Authority’s decision to rescind Diarmuid Connolly’s red card but it can safely be said the GAA’s appeals structure is undermining the authority of referees on and off the field.
It lacked the deliriousness of the All-Ireland semi-final replay 12 months earlier, when Mayo and Kerry set Limerick alight, but this last four second act wanted for little else, save the sort of dramatic ending that seemed a given for so long.
Two years ago, we reviewed the Dublin-Mayo All-Ireland final after Jim Gavin contended Joe McQuillan was a 16th man against them. The foul count read 33-12 against them at the end. Our study found five of the 33 fouls against Dublin were contentious but only one of those conceded by Mayo was dubious.
Seven electric minutes at the end couldn’t overshadow the caution and cynicism that preceded it, but Mayo may well have saved something of football’s soul — not to mention their season and sanity — by clawing back a seven-point deficit to claim a replay from this tempestuous All-Ireland semi-final.
Jim Gavin accepts that players on both sides crossed the line at times in yesterday’s drawn encounter, but he kept his counsel on individual incidents and whether or not an appeal would be launched against Diarmuid Connolly’s red card.
They say to really see a game properly, you need to be in the stand taking it all in, being in a position to see players’ movement, the real shape of a team or the off the ball tussles which TV cameras often don’t pick up.
Reader, we’ll let you in on a little secret. When counties hold press conferences ahead of big championship games, the better interviews are usually held later in the week closer to the match. No biggie, right? Managers are often the exception but they can, on the odd occasion find themselves in the Saturday edition.