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This past week has been a strange one on the GAA front. Croke Park yet again gets another mid-season face lift. A player from Laois puts himself on a collision course with his manager over comments on Twitter.
O'Loughlin Gaels remain on course for automatic qualification to the knockout stages of the 2011 championship with a good win over Tullaroan at the weekend. Again the O'Loughlin’s talisman was Mark Bergin who scored an impressive 12 points. There were some very good performance all around the field for O'Loughlin’s including those from Niall Bergin and Martin Comerford.
Kilkenny put on a good display when defeating Waterford fairly comprehensively by 0-26 to 3-9 in an entertaining challenge game in Tallow on Sunday night in front of an attendance of over 2,000 supporters. Henry Shefflin was a welcome return to the team.
The big three Kilkenny, Cork, and Tipperary have dominated the hurling scene for quite some time now, you have to go back to 1998 when the last non-superpower of hurling, Offaly, won the Liam McCarthy. Thirteen teams have ambitions to derail the current champions Tipperary but realistically only a handful have the talent to do so.
Two Kilkenny players have received suspensions after the GAA's Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) reviewed last Sunday’s Allianz Hurling League final against Dublin, which left the Cats in an unusual position — licking their wounds.
To say I am lost for words after Kilkenny’s dismal display last Sunday is putting it very mildly. The defeat is one thing but the manner of it is of more concern. First things first, hats off to Dublin on winning their first National League title since 1939 they were truly magnificent on the day and thoroughly deserved their victory.
In recent years Semple Stadium has become the spiritual home for the National Hurling League Final. Geographically it probably suited all participating counties. However with the Dubs reaching the final for the first time since 1946 the authorities in HQ have in one way made a constructive effort to attract a big crowd by holding it in Croke Park only to shoot themselves in the foot with the admission fee of €25.
The Cats returned to winning ways in the Allianz Hurling League, defeating Waterford in this fifth round Allianz Hurling League game in Nowlan Park on Sunday last. Kilkenny started well and enjoyed the better posession in the first half and deservedly lead at the interval by 0-10 to 0-6. A Shane Walsh goal in the 51st minute followed immediately by an Eoin Mc Grath point saw the Déise edge ahead by two points but Kilkenny showed good character and responded well and thanks to goals from TJ Reid and Colin Fennelly they remain on course to figure in the closing stages of this year’s League.
Last weekend’s game between Kilkenny and Waterford was far from a classic, it was one of those start stop encounters that just never got going. Cork referee Sexton was whistle happy but in his defence having watched the match again on TV a lot of his calls were justified.
It’s on a sad note that I start this week's column after the passing of Eamon Hennessy, one of Kilkenny's most devoted fans. The kind-hearted Eamon who lost his battle with illness last Tuesday was known and respected the length and breadth of Ireland.