Championship '99 - the Guru's last stand
Intermediate Football Championship Nemo Rangers 0-8 Naomh Aban 1-10
Short a number of players from last years Intermediate Panel, Nemo were under pressure from the start of this game. Playing with the wind in the first half, Nemo conceded a goal and went in at half time 3 points down.
They started the second half in a determined mood and were eventually on level terms and looked to be getting the upper hand of Naomh Aban. Missing an easy free did not help matters and Naomh Aban went down the field to score a good point and another point straight away put them two points up. Nemo fought to the end but were beaten by a better Naomh Aban side. This was a disapponting result considering Nemo went to the Semi Final of the Intermediate Championship last year.
Nemo Rangers 3-10 Millstreet 3-8: The minor Hurlers won their first trophy of the year, in an exciting final which was played in Coachford. Millstreet started the better and had 1-2 on the board before Nemo got going. Nemo settled well and with Adam Murphy leading from centre back and with James Masters and Shane Marshall getting some great scores went in at half time leading after a great goal from Keith O’Callaghan. They started the second half in the same fashion and eventually were leading by 7 points.Nemo conceded a penalty which Millstreet scored from and were back on level terms after scoring some great points. However, Nemo got two late points to run out winners.
2/7 Minor FC1 v Barrs Ballinlough 8.00
3/7 Junior HC1 v Blackrock ditto 7.45
5/7 Minor FC2 v St Nichs Home 7.30
6/7 Junior HL1 v Na Piarsaigh. Home. 7.30.
Well, the quarter-final pairings for this year’s All-Ireland series have been sorted out (except for the Ulster team, who don’t usually have that much of a say either way). And we’re still in June. Isn’t that a great way to run your primary competition? The day surely won’t be long in coming when the championship is run on some sort of league/round robin basis, possibly with two “Conferences” along the lines of American football. And not a moment too soon.
Anyway, time for a quick look at those knocked out so far. Tipp flattered to deceive a little in the first game against Clare, receiving their biggest drubbing in memory in the replay. However, it was a season of progress for Nicky and his young charges. Several of the team were making championship debuts this year, and a good thrashing will do wonders to sharpen minds for next year. Winning the league was also nice consolation for failure later on. If Tipp can replace Leahy, Conal Bonnar and possibly Declan Ryan by next year, they’ll be a formidable force.
Waterford were a big disappointment, with many expecting them to continue last year’s good work and challenge for honours. But their old failings in the forwards, ie. not converting a high enough percentage of possession, cost them dearly. Limerick were just useless as usual. Memo to Eamon Cregan - get rid of Gary Kirby! (And about half a dozen others.)
In Leinster, it was the end of the line for a great Wexford team, falling heavily to a rampant Offaly. Laois got their butts whipped in grand style by Kilkenny, although I refuse to believe they’re as bad as that. They were just a bit unlucky, firstly, to concede a few heartbreaking early goals, and then they happened to meet a Kilkenny forward-line in razor-sharp form. Having said that, it is hard to see Laois making a breakthrough any time soon.
There are some seriously big guns left, anyway, with either one a potential champion. I know everyone is hoping for me to make one of my infamous (and always wrong) predictions, but you know what? I couldn’t be bothered. It’s fairly impossible to predict, anyhow, as the standards are so level.
I suppose I’d have to say that I’d like to see Offaly win, as they play a style of hurling that is very easy on the eye - graceful and classy, with the emphasis on ball-work, not running around at a million miles an hour like a robot. Not that any of the other teams do that, mind.
Whether they do win or not is up to Fate and the whims of that Faithful temperament. The bad news is that you’ll have to watch it all unfold without me, as I won’t be here from next week. Hope you all enjoy the summer’s action, anyway, and with a Cork involvement, I’m sure you will. See y’all later.
The Guru Who Has Spoken His Last
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Championship '99 - the Guru's last stand