Has there been any entertainment like we’ve seen between Cork and Waterford in the Munster and even the All-Ireland championship over the last 12 years or so?
I said it on Saturday, hoped we’d get the same again and we did. The pity is that there was only just over 16,000 there to see this game live. I know people are complaining about ticket prices and everything but this was real value for money and those who lost out yesterday were the ones who stayed at home.
A lot of people talk about the difference in standards between Division 1A and 1B of the league and they got some evidence of it in this game. In the first half Waterford, the 1A team, hit the ground running while Cork struggled to get going.
Only for two Cork players in that first half, Christopher Joyce at wing-back and Alan Cadogan up front, Cork would have lost this game, I have no doubt about that.
Waterford were playing good diagonal ball to their forwards, their movement was good, very constructive, and Cork were in trouble. I said this about Cork last year. I’ve said it again in the league and say it again now: Cork have real problems in defence against a team that moves and pulls them around the place.
They added to the confusion themselves yesterday by placing forwards in places where they weren’t effective. I’m talking about Cian McCarthy and Conor Lehane particularly, in the half-forward line, and Patrick Horgan when he was out there in the first 10 minutes or so. Patrick went back to the corner, still wasn’t playing well, but made up for it all in the second half.
In midfield too Cork were in trouble, Aidan Walsh ploughing a lone furrow. It took the Cork management too long to make the necessary changes. Just like last year, they’re going to be have to be much sharper if they’re going to be contenders again this year.
Half-time was important for Cork. I’d say a few harsh words were spoken though they still took their time about getting into the game.
Here, criticism of Waterford. They built on their half-time lead, went nine points ahead after Gleeson’s brilliant goal. He’s only 19 but you can see he has the makings of a real leader in this team. That goal, good as it was, shows exactly what I’m talking about in this Cork defence, to leave someone cover that distance and beat so many defenders.
From there Waterford should have gone on to win the game. Just over 20 minutes to go, their tails up, it was theirs to lose and they almost did.
No blame for that to the likes of Jamie Nagle and Kevin Moran, who played well, and of course you have to give credit to Cork as well because they did start to play better. I’ve mentioned him already but the contribution of Alan Cadogan to that comeback has to be noted.
Three Cork subs made an impression, Bill Cooper (especially, even apart from his scrambled goal), Stephen Moylan and Jamie Coughlan.
I wonder though, was Seamus Harnedy carrying an injury? He got a nice point but wasn’t the man we saw last year.
I was surprised Paudie O’Sullivan didn’t get a run. Is he not fit enough yet? And if not, why was he named? Maybe we’ll see him the next day.
One man though above all — Patrick Horgan. With the game going from Cork Patrick came further out the field and exploded into the game. His free-taking was faultless but he also scored some fine points from play.
What’s going to happen in the replay? Well Cork need to learn how to defend. That’s a first. If they play like this again they’ll be putting the team under pressure again, though in fairness the Cork attack wasn’t impressive either yesterday.
I think Waterford were the real losers though. I know they have another day out, and hopefully we can all enjoy that in front of a bigger crowd, but Derek McGrath and his players will know better than anyone that they had a golden opportunity yesterday but left it behind them.
Central Council put back discussion on FRC report
By John Fogarty MS4
A special meeting of Central Council to debate the Football Review Committee (FRC)’s second report will take place next month.
The decision came following Saturday’s regular gathering where it was agreed the 15 recommendations needed to be discussed at length.
Because of a number of items on the agenda, such as a presentation on the GAA’s new e-learning portal, there was a delay in addressing the FRC’s structural proposals.
There had been an attempt to begin a debate on them, but that was abandoned due to time constraints and a call was made to reconvene.
For the time being, the International Rules is safe, although several counties are opposed to its continuation. Inter-county footballers, on the other hand, have endorsed the hybrid game providing each country fields their strongest side. However, there appears to be consternation among dual and predominantly hurling counties that the FRC have proposed the GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee be handed overall responsibility for fixtures at all levels. Their difficulty lies in a football group making a recommendation that may relate to counties’ abilities to arrange hurling fixtures. Tipperary’s 2010 All-Ireland-winning manager Liam Sheedy heads up a hurling review group, set up in recent months.
While the FRC’s call for minor level to be changed from U18 to U17 is not expected to be discussed until a report by the minor age grade review work group is released. Chairman of the GAA’s games development committee, Michael Martin, heads up the body. Already this year, Congress have voted in support of the Tipperary motion, which called for the minimum age for minor inter-county football and hurling to be raised from 15 to 16. Central Council have elected to defer its implementation until next year.
The meeting was held at the CityWest Hotel, where several election counts, such as the Dublin West by-election, were also taking place.