Sport Hurling

Saturday 24 March 2018

Furious Jacob lashes criticism of Oulart as 'nothing short of a scandal'

Rory Jacob: In defence of Oulart
Rory Jacob: In defence of Oulart
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

OULART-THE BALLAGH'S Rory Jacob has branded some of the criticism aimed at his side in the wake of their shock Leinster club SHC final defeat to Carlow's Mount Leinster Rangers last Sunday as "nothing short of a scandal".

The Wexford star took to social media to refute allegations that the team lacked "bottle" and "character" after losing their fourth consecutive provincial decider. Jacob posted a series of screen grabs on Twitter where he hit out at the club's critics and insisted he and his team-mates "dedicate their lives" to hurling for the club.

"In sport criticism is part and parcel of the game and I for one accept it as something you have to live with when you play sport," he said.

"When criticism is constructed in an analytical way you accept it and learn from it. Over the last few days I have heard comments from respected people who know the game, and I respect their views on the reasons why we did not perform as a group on Sunday.

"However, some of the guff being written and said about our group of players over the last few days, both nationally and locally by people who have never even played the game, or use their position of power in the media to get digs in at people, has been nothing short of a scandal."

The 2008 Model captain insisted that questioning the club's character is unfair, pointing to their tradition.

"Our character and bottle has been questioned over the last few days," he continued. "It takes bottle and character to get to 10 county finals in a row, winning eight. It takes bottle and character to win five county championships in a row, something no other club in Wexford has ever done.

"It takes bottle and character to get to four Leinster club finals in a row and to be beaten in them all and still come back for more. We don't throw in the towel, we put ourselves out there to be shot at, but is it not a sign of character to do this (rather) than to crawl up and die?"

Jacob conceded that the Oulart players "let themselves down" last weekend but promised they'd be back in the hunt for more success next year.

"I don't know whether we will ever get the opportunity again to win a Leinster medal but I know one thing for sure – I will be back on the pitch in Oulart next year striving to win the Wexford club championship and I will have a group of committed Oulart The-Ballagh men with me whose whole life has been dedicated to hurling.

"It is not a sacrifice to play hurling, it is a privilege. Hurling is what we do; it's all we know. It's not a matter of life or death, it's more than that."

Irish Independent

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