Friday 22 September 2017

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Spillane's medal tally blows McGurn away

On Monday morning, Mike McGurn woke up to one unpalatable truth. Apart from Armagh losing momentum with a loss to Derry, he found that his assertion that "You put Pat Spillane beside the likes of James Kavanagh or Bernard Brogan or Jamie Clarke and they'd blow him away" a rather stupid statement.

Exactly what McGurn meant I am at a loss. I never heard of Kavanagh, I know that Clarke has some potential but let's put all three beside Spillane and see what we get.

Spillane has eight senior All-Ireland medals, nine All-Stars plus player of the year a number of times.

The three tyros mentioned don't possess an All-Ireland inter-county medal between them. I assume McGurn meant Spillane might not match them in the physical stakes then. Maybe . . . maybe not.

I do know that Spillane was fit enough to contest the BBC Superstars where sportsmen across the disciplines vied with each other in a multi-disciplined contest of fitness. Among the contestants were boxer John Conteh, soccer player Kevin Keegan and decathlon Olympic gold medalist Daley Thompson. So too was Spillane.

The only way that the three named boys and McGurn can measure with Spillane is when they toss eight All-Ireland medals and nine All-Stars on the table.

They can do it individually or collectively. Until then can I give Mike McGurn a bit of advice. Buy a DVD of the Kerry team circa 1975-1986. Watch it and get blown away.

John Cuffe

Amiable Brian not man to fill Micheál shoes

In Cork, we're used to players dictating to managers and county board officials. We have been savaged by other county followers for same. Now we have managers dictating to RTE about its commentators and they try to pass it as constructive criticism!

Brian Carthy is an average commentator at best among a very banal selection: only Darragh Moloney is somewhat interesting.

The Kildare manager should stick to what he thinks he knows best: RTE should start looking for a proper replacement for Micheál (ó Muircheartaigh). The amiable Brian Carthy is not that, despite the protestations from his friends.

Mick Finn



Gilleece a sparkling constant in golf world

Most of the sporting headlines last week were focused on golf.

There was incredible pleasure and excitement as the entire country enjoyed the fantastic golf Rory McIlroy played on his way towards his first Major.

His was positively a spectacular, sensational, memorable achievement.

Ewan Murray was his pleasant and soft-spoken self with his commentary. Even still, however, the Sky coverage of the US Open was an abomination -- not least the graphics.

Then, there was the tremendous performance of young Leona Maguire and the Irish Ladies' team in Elm Park, on Friday/Saturday/Sunday.

But that was only one of three successive weekends when males of the species were banned from those Donnybrook fairways and greens.

And it is not that long ago women all over were striving and agitating for membership and equality.

With all the inconsistencies, in the world of golf, however, there is one sparkling constant -- the articles of Dermot Gilleece.

Of them all, and there are quite a few, Dermot stands alone in his eloquent wording and turn of phrase, his knowledgeable, incisive, colourful comment.

He makes the Sunday Independent worth its money more than all else in it.

Padraic Gearty

Micko deserves final word on 'best forward'

John O'Brien's interview with Mike McGurn [June 19] deserves a comment. Firstly, no disrespect to the three players mentioned about blowing Pat Spillane off the pitch, but when 'they have harrowed what he has ploughed' they might deserve to be mentioned in the same league as him.

I will leave the last word to Mick O'Dwyer whose judgement has to be respected and I quote, "Pat Spillane is the best forward that I have seen in my days of playing and managing the Kerry team! He must be one of the greatest that ever played the game."

Matt Leen

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