Sport Hurling

Sunday 21 September 2014

Empire strikes back as traditional superpowers crush brief revolution

Michael McCarthy

Published 30/07/2014 | 02:30

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Kilkenny captain Lester Ryan lifts the Bob O'Keeffe Cup after the Leinster final. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Kilkenny captain Lester Ryan lifts the Bob O'Keeffe Cup after the Leinster final. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

How could a revolution last only a year? Was it merely a rebel uprising quashed after some early victories?

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Were the establishment just propping them up, to make the fall all the harder?

Speaking of rebels, it always felt a little uneasy that Cork had such a part in a supposed breakthrough season of 2013. That's the Cork of Ring and Barry-Murphy, them of the 30 All-Irelands and 50 Munster titles.

Anyway, there's four teams left in the 2014 hurling championship and it's the four teams atop of the game's honour roll.

So much for a revolution.

Limerick, and their 41-year drought, remain the only threat to the status quo. They're certainly live contenders but it just feels more likely that we're looking at a last three of Kilkenny, Tipperary and Cork.

Of course, there's always a chance the conservative majority wanted this all along. Much like politics, they never truly like the establishment, but they're uncomfortable without it.

Clare may have been everyone's darlings in 2013 but by 2014 they had won a 'soft All-Ireland' and had notions above themselves. In 2013, Dublin were 'robbed' not to make an All-Ireland final. In 2014, they never had 'the wrists' to match the traditional counties.

We'll see next summer if any of last year's changes are deep-rooted, but for now, it's as you were. 2013? A glitch in the Matrix.

Irish Independent

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