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Martin Breheny: Small ball losing 32-county fizz

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Liam Griffin.

Liam Griffin.

Liam Griffin.

AFTER hearing that Longford couldn't field a hurling team for last Sunday's league clash with Fermanagh, I was reminded of an interview I did with Liam Griffin in January 2000.

Never short of an opinion on the state of play, he bemoaned the failure to expand hurling beyond its traditional hinterlands.

"If someone can market coloured gripe water, call it Coca Cola and clean up worldwide, we should be able to sell hurling in Longford," he said.

He used Longford solely to illustrate his point which, of course, also applied elsewhere.

Twelve years on, coloured gripe water is still selling well but Longford hurling dangles by the flimsiest of threads.

Is it a sign of things to come?

With Cavan no longer competing at senior level and Longford on the brink, the days when all 32 counties competed in the league may be over, for the foreseeable future, at least.

Irish Independent