Tuesday 16 January 2018

Colm O'Rourke: Everything in place for Lilywhites to take next step

Kildare are justifying their top-four billing, writes Colm O'Rourke

Colm O'Rourke

Colm O'Rourke

No sooner had Sunday's games been won than the managers were playing down their significance and the players, almost half apologetically, made their exit.

Strange that the League has come to this. There was a time when winning brought a fair bit of celebration but now that it has become a much better championship indicator the winners look forward immediately. Maybe the closeness to the championship focuses attention but there was no demand for tyres to start a bonfire in Cork, although I am sure there were a few glasses of wine going down the red lane in Kildare, while Wicklow and Longford enjoyed the weekend most. Those denied a sight of the promised land most often have a better appreciation of the view.

There was not much new about either the Division 1 or 2 finals. Cork literally outmuscled Mayo. At times, I felt they were a bit over the top in their approach, and the referee was a bit lenient. But in the second half especially the sheer physical power of Cork was too much for Mayo, who are not nearly big or developed enough to cope with a team of this size. Yet there have been plenty of occasions recently when Noel O'Leary, Michael Shields and Eoin Cadogan have skated on thin ice with some of their challenges. Some day a referee will come down a bit heavier on them and it may be a costly experience.

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