Martin Breheny: The Kilkenny big-ball conundrum
WINNERS 20-113; losers 1-32. Average winning margin: 23 points.
That was the rather disturbing aggregate from four Leinster and two Munster minor football championship games last weekend as Dublin, Louth, Kildare, Offaly, Cork and Clare overwhelmed Carlow, Westmeath, Wexford, Kilkenny, Limerick and Waterford respectively.
It's difficult to know why there should be such a vast difference in standards among so many counties at U-18 level in any given year but, from a morale viewpoint, it can be severely damaging for young players.
Also, surely the time has come to examine if there's any point in Kilkenny continuing to compete on the inter-county football scene. Their U-21s lost to Louth in the Leinster championship by 6-34 to 0-2; their minors were beaten 8-30 to 1-0, while the seniors lost all eight league games by an average of 30 points after conceding 26-195.
I won't pretend to have the remotest idea how to make Kilkenny more competitive in football, but it seems pretty pointless continuing with the current charade.
Apart from being of no value to the players or those in the county who want to promote football, it's a complete waste of time and money for the opposition.