Sunday 17 December 2017

McIntyre may be own worst critic

FOR the second time in five weeks, Galway hurling manager John McIntyre was forced to react to defeat far more personally than his peers elsewhere.

As sports editor of the 'Connacht Tribune', he had to put all the reports together after the poor performance against Dublin last month, but that was mild by comparison with the paper's reaction to last Sunday's defeat by Waterford.

Mind you, the players took the heaviest hit, certainly in a piece by Dara Bradley, who wrote: "It's not so much losing that's the problem, it's the manner in which the Galway players downed tools and gave up so early. Galway had no gumption for a fight. No backbone. No heart. No courage. No spirit.

"You'd wonder why they bother training, making so many sacrifices, and yet turn up at Thurles and hurl like they couldn't give a toss."

Still, the headline (written by the sports editor?) was interesting: 'McIntyre's race as team manager is surely run after sickening hammering in Thurles'.

U-21 contenders in dire need of glory

With respect to Antrim, who won the Ulster title on Wednesday evening, the All-Ireland U-21 hurling championship will be won by one of the following: Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway. Question is: who needs it most?

Dublin? A win would, at long last, complete the All-Ireland senior/ minor/U-21 set and continue building the momentum in what has already been a great year.

Cork? It's 13 years since they last won the title and after what happened on the senior stage this summer, they are desperate to see some exciting young talent make a bold statement.

Limerick? Its nine years since they completed the U-21 treble and while it didn't produce the expected surge at senior level, another underage success would fit neatly into what is a work in progress under Donal O'Grady.

Galway? Several of this year's senior squad have probably played their last inter-county game, so an All-Ireland U-21 winning side would uncover some talented young men perhaps ready to step up to the highest level.

Irish Independent

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