Thursday 25 December 2014

Liam and Sam: The GAA uncovered

Let's clear something up

Published 19/07/2013 | 05:00

Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton takes a successful free kick late in the game
Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton takes a successful free kick late in the game

Mid-July heralds the arrival of the confusion season. The conclusion of the provincial championships is followed by an immediate switch of focus to the various permutations as provincial and qualifiers winners wind up for the All-Ireland charge.

As custodians of the famous trophies for the outright winners, we are regularly asked by confused supporters what restrictions apply in the draws for the remainder of the championships.

Once more then. The only restriction in football is that there can be no repeat of provincial finals in the quarter-finals pairings.

For example, Dublin could not be drawn against Meath (if the Royals win their Round 4 game), but could be drawn against Kildare (if the Lilywhites reach the last eight), whom they've also played.

In hurling, repeats of provincial finals will be avoided in the All-Ireland semi-finals.

Thus, if Kilkenny beat Cork and Galway beat Clare in the quarter-finals, the semi-final pairings will be Dublin v Kilkenny; Galway v Limerick.

If Clare and Cork win the quarter-finals, the semi-final pairings will be: Limerick v Clare; Dublin v Cork. Draws may apply in the event of other permutations, arising from the quarter-final results.

It's simple, Pierce!

Pierce Freaney, a man long involved in refereeing matters in and around Croke Park, threw down a challenge in an article in the Leinster football final programme last Sunday.

Writing about common sense in refereeing, he asked: "what does the phrase mean? Is there a definition? Answers to the editor (match programme) please."

So, here goes then. Common sense is where the application and interpretation of a rule dispenses a sanction commensurate with the offence committed.

In other words, allow the referee some discretion to judge an incident in its entirety and not merely through stark words on a page with a one-size fits all approach.

Casement Park recycling

ANYONE else now for the last ... er, scoreboard?

OK, that's not the usual catch-cry of a championship hawker, but sports clubs of any persuasion will surely be interested in what Antrim County Board are selling, ahead of their multi-million pound redevelopment at Casement Park.

They've put the following list of items for sale: electronic scoreboard, turnstiles, floodlights, generators, crash barriers, ball stops, PA system, CCTV system, wooden fencing, palisade fencing and gates, perimeter pitch fencing, plastic seats, concrete bleachers and 'various lighting units.' Looks like there might be a few bargains to be picked up there and contact details are available on their website.

Fair play lads ... Kirstie Allsop and Duncan Stewart would be proud of such valiant efforts at recycling.

Ulster Final, but not as we know it

IT is impossible to picture Ulster final day, especially one involving Monaghan in Clones, without thinking of the genial John McAviney.

John was among the best known and best loved sports photographers in Ulster GAA, but passed away ahead of his time four years ago.

His brother Martin took over as Ulster Council president this year, when he became the first Monaghan man to hold that position in 42 years. Could this be a good omen for the Farney Army?

There is now, fittingly, a fundraiser dedicated to his late brother.

The John McAviney Memorial Golf Classic takes place in Clones on August 31 with proceeds to Ballybay Cancer Society and their home club of Ballybay Pearse Bros.

Anyone interested in entering a team should contact Gaby at 087-9661883.

Number of the week

474 The number of seconds used by Dublin when Stephen Cluxton came up to take his eight placed balls in last Sunday's Leinster final. With Rob Hennelly back in goal for Mayo this weekend, could we see more of the same in the Connacht decider?

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