Monday 11 December 2017

Tweets in the tale from GAA film buffs

THE Twitterati, the Irish branch at any rate, were in full flight last week, twisting the titles of films to give them a GAA flavour.

Some people didn't quite understand the concept and just took the title of a film, The Empire Strikes Back for example, and pointed out that it applied to Kilkenny's win last Sunday. The correct thing to do, of course, was to change the title to The Umpire Strikes Back. So we had such greats as Take Your Point Break, Lily White And The Seven Dwarfs and Finding Nemo Rangers.

But after extensive research (conducted out of office hours of course) From The Stands came up with a top three. In third place came The Gooch Who Stole Christmas, second was The Allianz League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and the winner, with more votes than David Norris, is Meath The Fockers.

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Every week we here in From The Stands take refuge in the provincial press and we're usually rewarded with some great sporting nuggets.

This week, we need look no further than Neil Halligan from the Longford Leader, who spoke to brothers Brendan and Paul Devine ahead of today's Longford football final between Longford Slashers and Clonguish. "It's going to be strange alright, there's no doubt about that," Brendan told him.

And the reason it will be strange is that Brendan is a forward on the Clonguish team and Paul is a defender on the Slashers team. "I don't even want to talk about the possibility of us marking each other," added Brendan.

And what of parents Kevin and Gabrielle? "They have been very diplomatic," he said, although Paul had his own view: "I'm not sure who my parents will be cheering for, though they do go for a drink in Newtownforbes so I think they are more Clonguish than Slashers!"

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Most of us would enjoy mornings more if they started a bit later. So six weeks of World Cup rugby before dawn on Setanta or RTE will test the resolve of even the most committed.

Those with a bit of sense might prefer tuning in later to TG4 which is showing full deferred coverage of 24 of the 48 matches including all the Irish Tests as well as the quarters, semis and final. Most of the matches are at the eminently sensible time of 11.30am with the odd 10.30 start later in the competition.

Máire Treasa Ní Dhubhghaill will present TG4's coverage with commentary and analysis supplied by Gearóid Mac Donncha, Garry Mac Donncha, Eamonn Molloy and former Government press secretary Eoghan ó Neachtain now back in the real world after practising the dark arts of the political scrum on behalf of three Taoisigh.

TG4 have rugby wrapped up this year showing more than 25 live RaboDirect Pro12 matches on Friday and Saturday nights and exclusive highlights from the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup for the next three years which they whipped from under the noses of RTE.

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Etihad Airways is looking to send one club to Australia to play the challenge match of a lifetime. They will fly the first team from the winning club to Australia, where it will train with GAA legend Nicky English ahead of the game.

On October 28, the 'Best Club Down Under' will play an Australian select team as the curtain-raiser for the International Rules match between Ireland and Australia in Melbourne. All clubs have to do is tell Etihad what their greatest achievement is. But hurry, the competition closes at 11.59 tonight.

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THE news that hurling counties will unite to fight against the new format for next year's league is no great surprise. There is talk that some counties are even considering the nuclear option -- withdrawing from the league.

It makes you wonder who votes for these proposals. Remember the ill-fated NHL relegation saga involving Clare and Wexford? And remember all those experimental rules that were implemented only to be scrapped a few weeks later?

Why do Central Council delegates even bother voting for these ideas if their domestic executives are against them?

Jerome Reilly, Fergus McDonnell and Damian Lawlor

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