Thursday 18 July 2019

'We're stronger now and are able to shoulder and take hits' - Farrell

Kilkenny star Meighan Farrell. Photo: Sportsfile
Kilkenny star Meighan Farrell. Photo: Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

The time has come for major rule changes within camogie as "it's hard to play and hard to watch" under its current guise, according to Kilkenny star Meighan Farrell.

The blurred lines between hurling and camogie rules were hotly debated after this year's All-Ireland senior camogie final when a soft free converted by Orla Cotter handed Cork a dramatic one-point victory over Kilkenny.

Referee Eamon Cassidy came in for much criticism but Farrell feels the Camogie Association need to alter the contact rules - it is a foul to "deliberately shoulder an opponent" in camogie - to complement the physical improvements in the game.

"If the rules change maybe the refs can change. It's hard when you are able to look and see what referee you have and you know that they are going to blow everything. It's gone way worse than it was," Farrell (above) said.

"We start strength and conditioning training three months before we do any sort of hurling like. Obviously strength is going to be a huge factor, and years ago they never did that.

"If they are bringing that in for us, shouldering and stuff like that should be brought in. You are stronger now so you are able to shoulder and able to take a shoulder and you are not going to fly onto the ground.

"It just takes it back a bit by the way you can't even tip off someone and it's a free. It's hard to play like that and hard to watch. I don't even like watching it if it's like that. If you are watching a game like that it's not going to be enjoyable at all."

Farrell - who leads Thomastown into Sunday's AIB Leinster senior camogie final against Wexford champions St Martin's - says there is a notable difference when hurling referees officiate camogie.

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"Huge, unbelievable like. I'm not saying you get away with a lot more, but you are actually let hurl. Whereas playing some inter-county matches you are not let hurl and that's the most frustrating way to play a match. You haven't even broken a sweat because it's frees constantly," Farrell added.

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