Thursday 14 December 2017

Few net gains in hurling goal drought

Jason Forde of Tipperary. Picture credit: Ray McManus / Sportsfile
Jason Forde of Tipperary. Picture credit: Ray McManus / Sportsfile Sportsdesk

Kilkenny 0; Cork 1; Tipperary 2. I wonder if it has ever happened before that hurling's 'Big 3' encountered such a goal drought over three successive games.

Kilkenny have scored no goals in three Allianz League games against Waterford, Clare and Cork, whose only goal came against Dublin.

Even Tipperary, who have warmed quickly to the new season, have been surprisingly goal-shy, scoring one each against Dublin (Jason Forde) and Waterford (John McGrath) and none against Clare .

However, they have been prolific point-scorers, bringing their total to 70 in three games when they hit Clare for 28 in a game where neither side really threatened the opposition goalkeeper.

Waterford and Clare have each scored three goals while Dublin have hit four.

Thirteen goals have been scored in nine 1A games - a low average of one every 49 minutes. Granted, ground conditions aren't exactly conducive to creative flourishes at this time of year but, conversely, they make defensive errors more likely so one would expect a higher goal return than what we've got.

But then hurling has undergone a none-too-subtle change over recent years, complete with defensive/midfield overloading.

It's not always easy on the eye and now it appears to be coming with the added drawback of cutting down on goal numbers.

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