Thursday 22 March 2018

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Final traditions are flung aside

I woke up last Sunday in great form and looking forward with pride to the football All-Ireland final. What disappointment, horror and pity at the players' behaviour throughout the game.

Sport reflects society and what I witnessed was nasty, unsporting and disrespectful to all GAA people past and present. In my opinion, the parade of the players behind the band before the game is so unique that it should have unesco status and for the Dublin team to prematurely break away halfway around the stadium was beyond belief. People died for this right.

Then the way the last ten minutes were played out by Dublin was a disgrace. The days of a late rally, the late Seamus Darby goal, are over. Are we the better for that? I don't think so.

Croke Park should award the Cup to whatever team is winning at 60 minutes. Seán Cavanagh, all is forgiven. Add to this no 'cúpla focal' and no sporting three cheers by the winning captain to the defeated county and the greatest day in the Irish sporting calendar was ruined for me. Tradition can be hard-earned and easily forgotten. On the folklore of Ring shouldered high by the victors Wexford, the brave Kerry team caught on the five-in-a-row finish line, gracious. I rested only to awake not to a whining losing manager but a whining winning one! The crassness and dullness. Oh the days of O'Connell rowing to Valentia, cupless, or John Donnelly's solo runs or JBM's overhead strike, oh the days of greatness.

Name and address with Editor

Free anomaly must be fixed

I have submitted a motion on behalf of my club Cratloe to the Clare Convention for the past two years in relation to penalties and 20-metre frees in hurling.

The motions were neither discussed nor voted on. I will be submitting the same motion in 2013. In summary, the proposal was that for those particular frees the sliotar should be struck outside or on the 20-metre line.

In 2011, I received a communication from Croke Park stating that the motion could go to Congress only on a year divisible by five, but that it may go before Congress the following year if recommended by the standing committee on the playing rules. This group, whose cathaoirleach is Uachtarán Liam O'Neill, is made up of four hurling people, namely Frank Murphy, Brian Cody, Dónal óg Cusack and Clare's ard comhairle delegate Ger Hickey. It also includes four people from the football faithful who seem to be quite active.

The penalty proposed was the same as that applied to a goalkeeper or defender taking the puck-out from outside the small rectangle: (1) cancel the free or penalty and (2) Throw in the ball on the defender's 20-metre line where the foul occurred.

This year's All-Ireland final highlighted the situation once again. While Cork goalkeeper Anthony Nash's technique may be different than other freetakers, the result is the same. In almost all instances the ball is now being struck from close to or on the 13-metre line. Why not? There is a loophole in the rules and it is being exploited. In the modern game, where every angle is being covered, this is to be expected. It is up to the rulemakers to stay ahead of the posse or be overrun.

With a sliotar travelling at 95 to 100 miles per hour, there is a serious health and safety issue involved. Breaking and applying rules is one matter but safety is tantamount. Cumann Lúthchleas Gael needs to act promptly.

Flann O'Reilly

Lost chance to level things up

Having read the criticism of Mr Gavin's rights or otherwise to allow added discretionary time for Clare to equalise, how I wished he had refereed the Kerry v Dublin All-Ireland in 2011.

Stephen Cluxton, having ambled slowly to take the last free, wasting at least a minute and a half, must have been delighted with Mr McQuillan's added time of just seven seconds. Oh for Mr Gavin and a chance to level things up.

J O'Regan

Back door kind to Déise minors

Was there a record set in the minor hurling championship this year when Waterford won the All-Ireland despite losing two championship matches in the same grade in the same year?

J White

Camogie finals get a raw deal

I can't believe how poor your coverage off the camogie All-Irelands was in the Sunday Independent. You gave so much coverage to so many other sports and not even a quarter page to the camogie All-Irelands. Very bad.

C Egan

Sunday Independent

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