Miserly Kilmurry a beacon of light
DESPITE the disturbing aspects (including the disgraceful behaviour of some Portlaoise supporters and the unfair comment by team manager John Mulligan that if the referee, Michael Duffy, had a conscience he wouldn't sleep for a long time), there was a hugely uplifting dimension to Sunday's AIB All-Ireland club football semi-final.
It came in the form of Kilmurry-Ibrickane's excellent performance in which they completed a fifth successive championship victory without conceding a goal. They have been miserly with points too, giving away just 0-28 in five hours of Munster and All-Ireland action.
It's great for the championship to see a club in the All-Ireland final for the first time, all the more so when it's from one of the weaker football counties. Just watch the colour and excitement they bring to Croke Park on St Patrick's Day.
As for Duffy's dismissal of Portlaoise's Brian Mulligan in the first minute, it was unquestionably the right decision. However, one can understand Portlaoise's frustration since first-minute dismissals are as rare as white blackbirds on the inter-county scene so they wouldn't have expected it at club level either. Referees supremo Michael Curley insists that referees make decisions on what they see rather than what their watches tell them.
Not always they don't, based on the tiny number of players sent off in the early minutes of inter-county games.