independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Hurling cup hails club man supreme

St Patrick's Athletic's Keith Fahey
St Patrick's Athletic's Keith Fahey

The Kilkenny GAA Yearbook 2013 has hit the shelves with a series of interesting features, including one on Tommy Moore of Ballyragget, who went on to hurl with Faughs and Dublin. Moore died in 1973 and his name has been on the cup given to the All-Ireland club hurling winners for the last 40 years. Next month's semi-finals see Mount Leinster Rangers meet Loughgiel Shamrocks, while Portumna face Na Piarsaigh.

This revealing study of Moore, by Seamus O'Doherty, a Tipperary native living in Ballyragget, contains an appreciation by the GAA writer Pádraig Puirséal who rated Moore a "great inter-county player" and "a club man supreme". Moore was attending Kilkenny CBS when the county won their first senior All-Ireland in 1904, a time when people walked or ran to matches and anyone with a bicycle was regarded as a snob. After moving to Dublin, he became a stalwart with Faughs and won two All-Irelands with Dublin in 1917 and 1920. After winning the All-Ireland in 1917, he went straight to work, having no time for a post-match meal or lavish celebrations. Truly, a man of his time.

* * * * *

THERE are 21 reasons why Keith Fahey should not give up hope of adding to his caps total after returning from England to sign for St Patrick's Athletic. That (21) is the number of players who have done so in the past.

However, to do so, Fahey will have to break a 27-year tradition stretching back to Pat Byrne's last cap in a 1-0 win over Czechoslovakia in Iceland in 1986. Since Jack Charlton capped the Shamrock Rovers and ex-Leicester City playmaker – at right-back in an emergency – no player who returned from England has been capped.

Mind you, in the list of 21, there are some legendary names, Jimmy Dunne, John Giles, Alfie Hale, Joe Haverty, Paddy Mulligan, Ray Treacy, Turlough O'Connor, Liam Tuohy, to name a few. If Fahey joins their ranks, he will be in elite company.

* * * * *

The Wallace brothers, Paul, Richard and David, have faced some tough challenges in their rugby careers. From gruelling Lions Tours to demanding Six Nations campaigns and exhausting European Cup matches, they have done it all.

But none of those exertions compared to the challenge of cycling from Malin Head to Mizen Head for the CROSS Rugby Legends Tour. Last September, along with several former team-mates and opponents, the brothers spent seven days on their bikes making the trip from one end of Ireland to the other in aid of cancer research. They shared memories from their playing days, spoke about the effects of cancer and gave an insight into life after rugby.

Many of the former players had never been on a bike for longer than a few minutes and that wasn't the only thing they had to contend with. They had to battle wind, rain, blisters, and bruises and there were even a few falls along the way.

Their journey was captured on film and the documentary Against The Wind will be aired on Thursday at 10.0pm on Setanta Ireland.

* * * * *

LESS than a month after your television licence has expired, you are likely to receive a nasty reminder marked (in red) 'Legal Notice'. If only the service your hard-earned cash goes to fund – RTE – were as prompt.

Last Wednesday, two of the biggest names in tennis, Roger Federer and Andy Murray, met in the quarter-final of the Australian Open. The match started at 8.30am Irish time and lasted three hours and 20 minutes; by noon Federer had won.

Almost 90 minutes after the end of the match, Una O'Hagan informed us on the One O'Clock News that the match had begun in the last hour.

"Federer leading 4-2 in the first set," reported the newsreader as some highlights played out on screen. Hopefully they had caught up by the main evening news.

* * * * *

With the Super Bowl closing in, the level of Irish interest in the sport is more obvious than ever. We can now anticipate weekly coverage in all the national media. There are dedicated podcasts and even experts amongst our own sports stars such as Kilkenny hurler Jackie Tyrrell and former Dublin footballer Mossy Quinn.

Seán Ryan, Fergus McDonnell and Dermot Crowe

 

ssport@independent.ie

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