Saturday 21 April 2018

Donal Óg Cusack has his say on 'sliotar-gate' and reveals 'gamesmanship' anecdote from playing days Newsdesk Newsdesk

Clare selector Donal Óg Cusack that mind games surrounding sliothars is something that has always existed in hurling.

Clare have made contact with Cork to apologise after a bag containing goalkeeper Anthony Nash's sliotars was thrown into the crowd before last Sunday's Munster hurling final.

Footage surfaced yesterday of the individual in question making his way from the New Stand side of Semple Stadium to the Killinan End, which was defended by Nash in the first half.

Dressed in a Clare training top and shorts, and wearing a baseball hat, the young man picked up a bag from behind Nash's goal, before tossing in into the Thurles terrace.

Cork have accepted the apology and it looks unlikely that the Munster council will be taking any action.

Asked about the incident in an interview with Off The Ball on Newstalk, the former All-Ireland-winning Cork netminder said: "I think gamesmanship is part and parcel of our sport. I think Gerry and Donal dealt with that specific issue yesterday.

"In terms of your general question around gamesmanship and sliothars, there is a whole history of it you could talk about.

"Every goalkeeper that I would have known or been involved with had a preference around sliothars."

Cusack revealed an anecdote from his playing days to prove his point.

"I can remember back to my minor days. I can remember before a minor All-Ireland final being told that we had a to use a 'Donnelly' sliothar and I remember the rims on it were massive. I remember being so upset because... could people not realise what kind of an impact this could have?

"It is such a critical thing.

"I remember being in goals that day and a guy coming wanting to take the bag of sliothars off me. Both in the first half  and the second half... because I was using my own.

"I remember with 10 minute to go I gave him the bag and told he could do what he wants with them.

"Incredibly four years later, I went back into the net and the bag that I had put the sliothars into had been inside-out. I found it very strange and I asked the umpire, 'What the story there?' and he said, 'Do you see that guy there? He emptied all the sliothars out onto the ground and turned the bag inside out' and I remember going over to the same gent (from the minor game) and I reminded him that I wasn't a minor anymore.

"There are no standard sliothars. I liked the Cummins sliothar."

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