Galway look at ban on using keepers’ hurleys for frees

Clare players prepare to defend an Anthony Nash free during the All-Ireland SHC final replay. Nash is Cork's free-taker. Picture: SPORTSFILE

A motion to outlaw the use of goalkeeper’s hurleys for scoring has been forwarded to the Galway County Convention to be prepared for the GAA National Congress.

The motion was initially proposed by the Clarinbridge club for the Galway hurling convention, but chairman Joe Byrne has referred it to the County Committee, which prepares motions for the national stage.

The motion states: “All scores from play and placed balls in hurling can only be scored from the standard size hurley and not from an oversized keeper’s hurley, in accordance with the Official Guide 2013 Part 2 – Rule 4 Equipment 4.5. the base of a hurley, at its widest points, shall not be more than 13cm.”

Cork goalkeeper Anthony Nash is one of the leading exponents of the 21m free but Clarinbridge delegate Donal Walsh believes forcing the use of a normal hurley will stop free-takers shooting from close in.

“It is a lot easier to [lift the ball closer] with a goalie’s hurley because he has a greater margin for error,” he said. “The top free-takers rarely take more than half a step forward before their strike with a regulation hurley. If everyone uses the same hurley I think the travelling forward issue would probably disappear as well.”


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