Saturday 24 February 2018

Minor sign of Peas silences Dr Dermot

From The Stands has been assured there were no hard feelings in the Diocese of Cashel and Emly last week after a GAA faux pas left Archbishop Dermot Clifford exposed to some guffaws.

The GAA had initially decided to do away with the tradition of speeches from the archbishop and winning minor captain after the curtain-raiser and to just proceed straight to the handing over of the Irish Press Cup, followed by a lap of honour. It would, the GAA claimed, relieve the burden of public oration from young players.

However, at the last minute it was decided that the archbishop could indeed address the stadium, as had been the custom. Unfortunately, Archbishop Clifford had only just got into his stride with his cúpla focal when the microphone was cut dead, and replaced by pop group Black Eyed Peas' hit single 'I Gotta Feeling'.

Even more unfortunately, the archbishop could be clearly seen on the big screen continuing his speech before finally handing over the cup to Kilkenny captain Cillian Buckley.

A spokesperson for the archbishop, though, told From The Stands: "The Archbishop believes that the interruption was unintentional and he received an immediate apology. These things happen on hectic days in Croke Park with over two thousand people involved in running this tremendous hurling spectacular."

* * * * *

BROTHER Colm O'Connell, the Irish-born Patrician Brother who has coached a succession of Kenyan athletes to Olympic and World glory, believes his latest protégé will break one of athletics' biggest barriers.

In the 1940s and '50s, all the talk was about breaking the four-minute barrier for the mile. Eventually, Dr Roger Bannister, on May 6, 1954, broke that barrier for the first time when he ran 3:59.4 in Oxford.

Now, Brother O'Connell is claiming that the young Kenyan athlete he has been training, David Rudisha, can become the first athlete to run 800 metres in 100 seconds.

He made the claim after a meeting in Rieti, Italy, recently where Rudisha lowered the 800m world record to 1 minute, 41.01 seconds, just 1.01 seconds outside the 100-second barrier. It was his second time in a week to break the record, having first run 1:41.09 in Berlin.

* * * * *

OVER 900 sports clubs the length and breadth of the country will be keeping their fingers crossed that they will be among the chosen 25 when the recipients of the Texaco Sports Bursaries are announced on September 30 in Dublin.

That's a whopping 40% increase in entries from last year, perhaps an indication that the lack of grants from Government sources has led clubs to spread their nets wider.

While the Texaco Sports Star awards honour the top echelon, the bursaries support sport at community level. This is their fourth year, and the judging process is currently in progress. Ultimately, 25 bursaries worth €5,000 each will be awarded.

* * * * *

THE Waterford County Board will meet tomorrow night to discuss the appointment of a senior hurling manager for next season. Davy Fitzgerald is the only name in the hat but the Clare man hasn't yet signalled his intentions.

"The appointment of a manager will be on the agenda at that meeting and so far there is only one name in the hat and that's Davy Fitzgerald," said a source. "But we haven't yet got an indication from Davy and although we'd like to finalise the matter tomorrow night, things are still a little up in the air."

Were Fitzgerald to move on, Mount Sion man, current Carlow manager Kevin Ryan, would be the obvious replacement.

* * * * *

THINGS got a bit shirty in the valleys last week. It is 18 months since Gavin Henson last played for Wales but when a group of current players, including Ryan Jones and Shane Williams, turned up for the launch of their new international kit they were surprised to discover Henson had been chosen as the poster boy for the campaign. This is despite the fact that there are question marks over whether he will play for Wales again.

The WRU's Roger Lewis, though, pointed out that "every Welsh fan has a right to own and wear the national jersey with pride, just like Gavin does in our images."

Marie Crowe, Seán Ryan and Damian Lawlor

Sunday Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport