…At least Galway minors won in style
What a weekend of sport it was – but yet there is a sense of a huge anti-climax after it all. The Mayo footballers put up another great show but they came up short again against Dublin on Saturday. The Roscommon minor hurlers were totally outclassed against Kerry on Saturday in Limerick and then on Sunday the Galway senior hurlers had no answer to Kilkenny in what was a very disappointing All-Ireland hurling final.
The only bright spot for ‘the West’ was the emphatic victory for the Galway minors in the curtain-raiser on Sunday.
I thought the hurling final was a poor game. Galway played well in the first half but they were still only three points ahead at the break and one always had the feeling that if Kilkenny opened up, they would win easily – and that’s what happened. They literally choked the life out of Galway. They didn’t let them play at all in the second half and they won as they liked in the end.
It is incredible to report that thousands of Kilkenny supporters left the ground at the final whistle and didn’t even bother to stay and watch the McCarthy Cup being presented. In fact there were more Galway supporters in Croke Park for the presentation that there were Kilkenny fans.
I know that you have to hand it to them and acknowledge that they are some hurling machine, but it has become boring and predictable.
It has not been said too often in recent years but it has been a poor hurling championship overall and Kilkenny won it without too much fuss. They won each of their four championship games as they liked and it is a massive achievement that Brian Cody and his players come back year after year motivated and ready to win another All-Ireland. They lost some of the best players that ever played the game last year, yet they could still come back and win another All-Ireland this year. It doesn’t say much for the other counties though.
Galway did their best and in the first half when Joe Canning was playing well they looked good –but once Kilkenny out the clamps on Joe that was it. It was all over.
At least the Galway minors won their title and in great style too. But transferring success at underage level on to senior level is extremely difficult and the other major hurling counties have to try to match and emulate Kilkenny or they will go on winning titles year after year.
Hard luck to the Roscommon minor hurlers, who came up against an exceptional Kerry side in Limerick last Saturday.
Kerry are in the position whereby they are not good enough to play at the very top level but are probably too good to play at ‘B’ level and Roscommon suffered as a result.
Still, there is no shame in losing to a really good side and hopefully the hard work that Stephen Glennon and his selectors have done with the Roscommon players in recent months will bear fruit in the longer term.