Wednesday 17 January 2018

Morris, Lyng, Doyle, Doran my top four

THE UNPREDICTABILITY that makes sport so addictive was brought home forcibly over the weekend in two different arenas. Firstly Manchester City's dream of a first title in over 40 years was as good as over as they entered injury time of their final game against Queens Park Rangers. Who would have ever anticipated that they would score the two goals required to wrestle the title from their fiercest rivals United in possibly the most dramatic final day ever since the birth of the Premiership?

I will pause here to offer my deepest condolences to all Manchester United fans and remind them that their slender title lead over Liverpool may become a thing of the past when King Kenny, Andy Carroll and co. get into their stride next season. The good days may be on the way back.

Closer to home Shelmaliers and Buffers Alley battled out a game which appeared to be drawing to an inevitable conclusion, with the men from Castlebridge looking like easing to a deserved victory when they received the ultimate sucker punch in the form of two late goals by Keith Burke and Tomás O'leary.

I'm sure the Over The Water men will be still wondering for a while to come how they managed to lose a game in which they did most of the hurling, but their consolation is that if they can keep the form they showed on Sunday evening going they will play a role in the concluding stages of the championship. The Alley must be given credit for battling out to the end but they will appreciate that improvement is needed from this latest performance.

Ferns were very impressive in disposing of Glynn and the Harriers have thrown the cat amongst the pigeons by surprising Rathnure, leaving this group very competitive and hard to call.

Oulart showed us all why they are going to be so hard to beat with a comprehensive demolition of the Rapps and, after an eventful and very physical game, the Martin's and St. Anne's drew. This group will be hard to call also with Cloughbawn securing their third point at the expense of neighbours Adamstown.

Overall I am really happy with the new format and think it has and will be competitive up to the fifth round of games, fully justifying the changes made.

My four star performers from the matches seen over the past couple of weeks are: 1, Paul Morris, Ferns; 2, Diarmuid Lyng, St. Martin's (good to see him back); 3, Eoin Doyle, Shelmaliers; 4, Willie Doran, Buffers Alley, who seems to have taken very well to his new full-back role.

Two of these players are in the Wexford panel, Willie's priorities possibly don't include a return to inter-county fare, and I feel Eoin Doyle deserves serious consideration going forward.

Sometimes little revolutions are happening under your nose and credit needs to be given. A good news storey in Wexford hurling is certainly Good Counsel's great win over St. Kieran's in the Leinster Juvenile hurling final last week.

The great thing about their win is that twelve of the starting 15 are Wexford men who hail predominantly from the New Ross District. Tremendous work has been ongoing in the south of the county with a stream of talented players being provided to aid the success of the New Ross school, and this has to be good for Wexford and the development of hurling in our county.

From a personal point of view it was great to see the tremendous contribution of half Buffers Alley man Daragh Lyons (only joking, I know he's a fully fledged James' man) to the victory and I look forward to seeing this young man progress through the ranks.

Well done to Ciarán Walsh and his Presentation Wexford charges for their wonderful achievement in securing the Leinster camogie title last week and creating another good news story for G.A.A. in the county.

There is tremendous work being done by a lot of people at the moment and I really do believe hurling is on the up on Slaneyside.

Finally, I must acknowledge the incredibly difficult job that the poor referee has to do every week. Watching a game last weekend, a player went to ground and immediately I heard a spectator yell at the ref to wake up.

The person then proceeded to complain that the man in black didn't even give a free.

Before play resumed the same person asked the person beside them 'did you see what happened there because I missed it?' I must point out immediately that this didn't happen at a Buffers Alley game as we are well known for our sympathetic judgements of the men in the middle, but it does beg the question: 'who in God's name would be a referee?'

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