HAVE YOUR SAY
Derval deserves banner headlines
I am writing to you to highlight my shock and disappointment with your paper's lack of coverage of Derval O'Rourke's silver medal win at the European Athletic Championships in Barcelona.
I am a regular reader of the Sunday Independent and I was looking forward to seeing a front page photo of Derval as she beamed from the podium and reading about her wonderful achievement and her difficult pathway there.
Instead, the front page of the sports section covered Dublin's win in the football. I had to go to page 12 before she was even mentioned.
To add insult to injury, she didn't even make the main headline on that page. Your paper chose to wallow over David Gillick's disappointing performance over Derval's achievement. Is it a case that the men's performance is more important than the women's?
I find it hard to stomach that you are quicker to highlight our country's athletes' underperformance rather than their achievements. Please give our sports heroes the coverage they deserve, it's the least your paper may do to cheer us up.
It's high time for change of format
Given the anomalies of the recent GAA championships, I would like to propose the following, with emphasis on greater synchronisation of the schedule.
1 All-Ireland football final first Sunday in September.
2 All-Ireland hurling final second last Sunday in August.
3 Both All-Ireland football semi-finals to be held on the same weekend.
4 Both All-Ireland hurling semi-finals to be held on the same weekend.
5 All provincial football finals to be held on the same weekend.
6 Munster and Leinster hurling finals to be held on the same day as has occurred previously.
7 The earlier rounds in both codes in all provinces should occur on the same weekend; use Friday nights if necessary.
8 With regard to the qualifiers, the hurling system should continue. In football, only two teams should go forward. Let the beaten provincial finalists play off. The two winners play the two qualifiers. Those two teams then go forward to the quarter-finals. Simultaneously, the four provincial winners play off. The winners are through to the semi-finals and the losers go to the quarter-finals.
9 Take time-keeping away from the referees.
These suggestions would provide for a more equitable and compact system and could give more time to club activities.
Gutsy Nicolas did his country proud
What a brilliant achievement by young Nicolas Roche to finish 15th overall in the Tour de France, and what a wonderful diary he kept each day.
What nerves of steel he must have as gutsy performances came from him each day. He must have come so near to packing in on some days, but Nicolas was not going to let down his parents, family and the Irish public, and determinedly stood his ground and hung in there. He took his frustration out on the bike and not on his opponents, like in some other sports. No doubt we will hear a lot more of him in the coming years and it would be so nice to see him winning a Tour just like his dad Stephen. Time is certainly on his side.
I was utterly amazed to read that he only earned €2,000 for 15th place and that had to be divided by 28. When I think of what Premier League players and other sportsmen make each week, it is not really fair that a young man can virtually bust his gut each day for a fortnight and earn a pittance in comparison.
Aimless Cork need to go to ground
It seems to me that the Cork hurlers, having played the short running game for a good few years, don't know how to revert to the more direct long ball one. The quality of ball being delivered to the forward line is very poor indeed.
No score from play by the Cork forwards in the first half of the Munster final replay and only a couple of points in the drawn game tells its own sorry story. God be with the days when Cork teams, with their fast, brave, skilful and stylish hurling, would delight the fans.
Nowadays it seems to be all about possession, slowing down the game, short puck-outs, players going down 'injured' trying to break the other team's momentum etc. I would love to see a team try and play ground hurling. I know it's not always possible but I feel most counties wouldn't know how to counteract it.