Wednesday 13 December 2017

Have your say: Loudmouth Spillane becomes a pub bore

If it means we don't have to listen to any more whining about last year's 'goal' against Louth, it will be nearly worth Meath's while to have conceded Graham Geraghty's goal to the referee. Michael Lyster and Pat Spillane couldn't help wittering on about karma and other rubbish after the square ball incident.

Thank God for Joe Brolly who told them it was time to draw a line under it. Brolly and Colm O'Rourke are the two most honest and insightful commentators.

Spillane is becoming a caricature and sounds more and more like what you would hear in any pub in Ireland on a Sunday night. His loudmouth and ignorant views on Hawk-Eye epitomised this as he kept insisting this new technology would have decided the square ball issue, ignoring Brolly's attempts to explain to him that something which only determines whether a ball has crossed the line could not answer that question.

The referee was far too generous with his yellow cards to both teams. And his red card to Brian Farrell was inexplicable. Farrell was despatched for "attempting to strike" an opposing player, when in fact what he did was respond to a backward forearm smash in the face by aiming an open-handed love tap. This and the square ball incident were game changing; reducing a team to 14 men at a time when they are being run off their feet by a fitter side has to be decisive -- so the influence of the referee on the outcome was substantial.

That said, Meath didn't do themselves too many favours. Their goalkeeper, described early in the match by the RTE commentators as probably the best in the country, made three crucial errors, probably forgetting he was not operating in the protected environment of English soccer.

The manager was a bit of a hindrance too. It was clear Kildare had superior fitness. He will probably claim he was justified in his gamble to bring back Geraghty -- he did actually score a goal which, if allowed, could have changed the match. But what was he thinking taking off Stephen Bray, a creative scoring forward with leadership ability? Still, Kildare deserved to win. If you can't beat a team that scores 18 wides against you, you don't deserve to win. It was a great and entertaining game even if we were not watching two great teams.

Name and address with editor

Confusion reigns

in 2fm bulletins

I was most interested in From the Stands on John Kenny's performance in Ruislip [June 5]. This should not surprise anyone who tunes into 2fm sport for updates. Indeed, last Saturday we were told that Kerry had beaten Waterford in the first round of the Munster senior football championship.

Switching to last Sunday, Andrew O'Connor told us after the 3.0pm news headlines that Cork were playing Waterford in the Munster senior hurling semi-final. He repeated this after the 4.0pm news, when giving the score after 30 minutes, and informed listeners one hour later that Cork had beaten Waterford in a Munster senior football quarter-final.

Grammatical errors are ten a penny on 2fm sport because all presenters seem to have forgotten the existence of that little word 'are'. 'There is eight games tonight in the Eirtricity League.' 'There is five games in the Magners League,' etc. One could go on and on but . . .

Gerry McCarthy

Exposing the myths and the meatheads

It was with great amusement that I read Declan Doogan's letter last week taking issue with Eamonn Sweeney for having the temerity to use a derogatory phrase when making a reference to Scottish football club, Glasgow Celtic. I took particular amusement when Mr Doogan used the term 'herd mentality' -- the words pot, kettle and black immediately spring to mind.

With regard to the 'lazy consensus on Celtic in particular' which he believes is prevalent in the Irish sports media when it comes to all things Celtic, I can assure him that up until, say the last five years or so, the only lazy consensus which existed in this country when it came to Celtic was that everything Celtic was good and every other Scottish club, in particular Glasgow Rangers, were evil. That and the myth that apparently everyone in this country supported them or were Celtic-minded. The reality of course is very different.

Irish sports writers are no longer afraid (and they were literally afraid) to point out negatives about Celtic, be it the club, team or supporters. Sunday Independent writers, in particular Dion Fanning, have been to the forefront in exposing the myths and the meatheads. It was a brave and refreshing approach. Imagine having the audacity to discuss Celtic FC and deal in reality rather than mythology and paddywhackery? Many Irish football fans are tired of Celtic. Tired of Celtic and Rangers. Tired of five-six-seven Old Firm games a season and the predictable and, at this stage, boring social fall-out which occurs every time they play each other.

Colm Prendergast

Sunday Indo Sport

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