Wednesday 13 December 2017

From the Stands: TV pundits zoom in on Kirwan's water folly

John Greene, Seán Ryan and Marie Crowe

Hurling referee Diarmuid Kirwan has a reputation for letting the game flow. Sadly, last weekend he wasn't so obliging in letting the water flow on a tremendously hot night in Thurles.

Fair play to The Sunday Game hurling panel for highlighting Kirwan's refusal to allow Wexford full-back Tomás Waters a quick swig of water in the sweltering heat of Semple Stadium during their extra-time defeat to Clare last Saturday. We can only hope that the Offalyman was suitably embarrassed by the television pictures – which did not reflect well on him.

On a night when a player from another county in a football qualifier had to be put on a drip after his game because he became dehydrated, Kirwan's actions were nothing short of irresponsible.

Dónal óg Cusack and Eddie Brennan deserve great credit for raising this issue – and also drawing attention to the failure to stop play later in the game while Waters received lengthy treatment for a serious knee injury which ultimately forced him out of the game. As he lay on the ground in obvious pain, 14-man Wexford conceded two points to Clare.

Cusack, of course, has long been an advocate of treating players with respect and it's no harm that he is now bringing this into his punditry. Indeed, Cusack, Brennan and Ollie Moran – who sat in on a proud night for his county – gave outstanding, well-thought-out and lucid analysis on the weekend's action on The Sunday Game . . . a real breath of fresh air.

* * * * *

ONE of the most annoying fouls in hurling is conning referees every week, and there is no sign of them coming to grips with it. It could have had a significant impact on two games last weekend.

The foul is a cute move which a pursued player resorts to when finding it hard to get space to hit the sliotar. As soon as his pursuer puts his hurley into range, it is gripped by the pursued player's arm and, with a little wrestling, he brings the pursuer down on top of himself.

In one of these incidents in the Waterford-Kilkenny game last week, the pursuer was too smart and let go of his hurl before he could be pulled down. The referee, however, still awarded the 'free' and a point was scored.

Jamesie O'Connor, co-commentating on TV3, put it down to the pursued player's experience, but most viewers would have another word for it, far less complimentary.

This scenario was repeated in the Limerick-Cork game but, on that occasion, the 'free' was sent wide. Justice done.

Currently, this tactic is a blot on a great game, so hopefully officials will move quickly to put an end to it.

* * * * *

Every now and again Twitter highlights some extraordinary stories and last week was one of those occasions.

This tale begins with former world champion sprinter Kim Collins and a rumour about him possibly declaring for Ireland. The question was put to the Saint Kitts and Nevis sprinter who didn't rule it out.

"They say they have a place for me in Ireland so I can do the Commonwealth next year," tweeted Collins.

Fortunately, one Irish journalist was quick to point out to him that Ireland is not part of the Commonwealth; however, Collins in turn was quick to tell him it should be. Bizarre.

* * * * *

A CLOSE friend of From the Stands, who works in the Boot On The Other Foot Department of an important Government ministry, remarked yesterday: "After the tremendous season Irish golfer Rory McIlroy enjoyed in 2012, isn't it sad to see British golfer Rory McIlroy struggling in 2013?"

You can't please all of the people all of the time

* * * * *

On Sunday, August 11, cyclists will get the chance to ride with Irish Giro d'Italia and Tour de France stage winner Martin Earley at The Tour of Kildare.

The former professional cyclist will be helping raise funds for the Marie Keating Foundation. It is the 12th annual 110km, 60km and 20km family cycle in association with the Naas Cycling Club.

Irish Independent

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