Saturday 25 November 2017

Liam and Sam

Former Kildare midfielder Willie McCreery has been cutting a stride on Irish racecourses as a horse trainer.

Former Kildare midfielder Willie McCreery has been cutting a stride on Irish racecourses as a horse trainer.

After sending out a recent winner at the Curragh, McCreery left the all-chattering 'At The Races' television presenter Mark Chapman stuck for words after he was asked about his on-field exploits. The English-based interviewer said he knew nothing about Gaelic games and was then left speechless as the trainer – with tongue slightly in cheek – explained it often drew over 80,000 people to Croke Park, was played by amateurs, and not a game for "pansies like the soccer and rugby ye play."

It's clear the Clane stalwart has lost none of his love for the GAA and that was again seen last Monday when he sent out the curiously named Connacht Council to land a bit of a touch in a handicap at Naas in the hands of Pat Smullen.

The well-backed winner – 8/1 in the morning into 5/1 – is owned by a group known as the GAA Legends Syndicate, who've enjoyed a couple of winners with McCreery. If only Liam and Sam had been in the know!

GAA SPREADING WEALTH

Weary, perhaps of the hoary old GAA chestnut – "where does the money go" – the Munster Council devoted a page of the match programme for the Clare-Waterford game last Sunday to answering that very question.

They pointed out that over the last six years a total of €10.3m had been invested in the provinces six counties for various ground and structural developments. Over €45m was spent by the counties and clubs of Munster on structural projects from 2009 to 2012.

That's quite a contribution to the construction industry in Munster and the same is going on around the other provinces. Other sporting organisations are expert at blowing their own trumpets for bringing revenue into the economy through international events, but when it comes to building facilities, none of them comes close to the GAA. It's a point that should not be forgotten.

ALLEN MISSING POINT

We were a bit confused by comments from John Allen about Limerick's current status and the way others view them.

He acknowledged that playing in Division 1B is a disadvantage when it comes to the championship, but then said he heard comments about 1B teams on radio by people who probably hadn't seen any of the games.

Presumably, they were making the point that 1B was weaker than 1A, which John himself also recognises. So does it matter if commentators hadn't seen 1B games? It stands to reason that the standard is lower. The giveaway is in the titles: 1A and 1B.

NUMBER OF THE WEEK

20 The number of hours between Lee Chin's double engagements 130 miles apart when he plays with Wexford hurlers against Dublin in Wexford Park on Saturday evening and with the footballers against Louth in Drogheda on Sunday.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"We will not fear Galway. We're looking forward to it and we'll be going for a win" – Laois hurling manager, Seamus Plunkett obviously believes they are on a different world to the last two years when they lost to Cork, Dublin and Limerick by an average of 27 points.

Irish Independent

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