Saturday 10 December 2016

League final gives glimpse of multi-game series benefits

Ger Gilroy

Published 11/05/2016 | 02:30

Hurling is a game to be played. It’s trapped in a prison of training. We all want games. Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE
Hurling is a game to be played. It’s trapped in a prison of training. We all want games. Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE

The Saturday discussion we had a few weeks back about the four-game saga between Meath-Dublin in 1991 was an enjoyable excuse to watch back some of the footage from the time.

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The guests we had were all somewhat sheepish about the quality of the play but it was hard to care about a misplaced pass here or a poor tackle there.

The games mattered and had meaning and so there was an intensity to them that is hard to miss. We won't really see similar outside of Ulster football and maybe Munster hurling in this year's championship until August. The 'event' of those games in 1991 was unmistakable.

The Clare-Waterford games have been coming thick and fast this past few weeks with another to look forward to soon and they are another little window into what the NBA and Major League Baseball do when they eventually siphon off the wheat each season.

Fractured

They pitch the teams in against each other repeatedly, home and away, sometimes twice and once more for good measure.

Last year on the show Richie Hogan pointed out the ridiculous fractured nature of the hurling season.

Imagine if all hurling ties from the quarter-finals on were decided on a two-game basis, with one each in Croker and Thurles, a week apart?

Or better still, have three and don't make the scores aggregate with a home and away and a decider in Croke Park? Even trialling it for a final would be sensational.

It'll never happen but hurling is a game to be played. It's trapped in a prison of training. We all want games.

Irish Independent

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