Thursday 22 February 2018

7 Wonders for the weekend

Kingdom legend Eoin ‘Bomber’ Liston led the charge on New York, where Kerry County Board were raising funds
Kingdom legend Eoin ‘Bomber’ Liston led the charge on New York, where Kerry County Board were raising funds

1 Kerry legends of the '70s and '80s  bring thousands to kingdom coffers

Kingdom legend Eoin 'Bomber' Liston led the charge on New York, where Kerry County Board were raising funds. The Bomber also formed one half of a comedy double act with ex-Ireland rugby international Mick Galwey, who also lined out for Kerry in his youth. The pair were seen 'training with cones' and dancing with Tomás Ó Sé (not that one), who won an All-Ireland minor medal last year and is a champion Irish dancer. Also at the $1,000-a-plate gala dinner were the likes of Minister Jimmy Deenihan, a member of the famous Kerry side of the '70s and '80s, and retired commentator Micheal O Muircheartaigh.

2 Rose of Tralee meets clash of the ash as Kilkenny's Walsh leads from front

Contestants in this year's Rose of Tralee proved that they weren't just Lovely Girls. They're lovely wristy hurlers too.

The Rose Cup was contested at O'Moore Park last Saturday between Laois' camogie side and a team of 2015 Rose hopefuls - all in aid of Cuilse Cancer Support Centre in Portlaoise. The Roses were captained by Kilkenny Rose Claire Walsh, cousin of Cats legend Tommy Walsh. Expect freestyle hurling to feature as a talent on the Festival Dome stage at the end of the summer.

3 No lies or damned lies - the statistics show Dubs' Leinster lead increasing

THE good people at Gaelic Stats ( have been providing us with plenty of food for thought this week - and doing the homework for lazy journalists who don't like sifting through decades of historical results.

Their findings make for fascinating reading. Following on from their 27-point win over Longford last Sunday, Dublin's average Leinster winning margin over the last 12 months is at an all-time high of 14.33 points per game. The next highest was 11.67 in the '50s.

But don't worry - football's not completely banjaxed: 15pc of all games played in provincial championships between 1950 and 1999 ended in double-digit victories - the exact same figure as in the years between 2000 and 2014.

4 Another fine example where club comes first - until it doesn't

SPEAKING of Dublin, the county board in the capital decided that the slogan for their club championships this year should be Club Comes First. And that certainly seems to ring true - so long as the Dubs' hurlers aren't in replay action.

Their draw with Galway last weekend and tomorrow's subsequent replay have wreaked havoc on Dublin's domestic fixture schedule, with four SFC games biting the dust (Ballyboden v Kilmacud; St Jude's v Brigid's; Lucan Sarsfields v Castleknock; St Pat's, Palmerstown v St Sylvester's).

And the knock-on effect of that is that these club players won't have a championship game to look forward to until September at the earliest, possibly October. Club Comes First, indeed.

5 Weather stops play for the first time in almost half a century

IT'S remarkable, in this wet and windy country, that this year was the first time in its 45-year history that the finals of the Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta were called off due to bad weather. So far, there's no talk of when the junior final between Donegal's Dowlings and the Aran Islands and the senior decider featuring Kilcar and Naomh Conaill of Donegal will take place. The wind and rain in Ardara on the June Bank Holiday Monday couldn't have been more different from the weather 12 months previous, when the defeated Naomh Columba team stopped to help a Galway farmer foot turf on their way home.

6 Yellow cards, red cards, whistle... and now a helmet needed for officials

HELMETS with full face-guards may have to become compulsory for match officials as well as players. That's if the evidence of Tuesday night's Leinster U-21 quarter-final between Dublin and Kilkenny is anything to go by.

Meath linesman Stephen Masterson received a woeful crack to the side of his head as Dublin's Cian Boland broke away from Kilkenny tacklers Jason Cleere and Ciaran Ryan along the stand-side touchline. After about a minute on the floor he resumed his position and is, apparently, showing no ill-effects.

7 Tension in the camp as summer radio listeners gear up to party with Marty

WE'LL all be post-match partying with Marty this year, after it was announced that the popular GAA reporter will host RTE Radio's Sunday evening Gaelic Games show, taking over the slot occupied by Second Captains last year.

But there's already tension in the camp. At the launch on Wednesday, co-host Paddy McKenna, a long-suffering Leitrim fan, lauded his colleague Brenda O'Donoghue's Dublin GAA credentials, which prompted her into a swift Twitter rebuttal, pointing out she's a proud Lilywhite. Morrissey, McKenna and O'Donoghue will be joined by the likes of David Herity, Anna Geary and Shane Curran.

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