2018 NHL

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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:13 pm

Oh, there is no doubting the difficulties faced by the GAA community in the six counties. And those difficulties were brought home to me by Terence McNaughton in his book. I don’t have the book to hand right now, but I recall the situation being explained beginning something like - it’s easy to be a hurler in Tipperary (I’m paraphrasing).

There is a tradition of sportsmanship in GAA – you shake your opponent’s hand at the beginning and end, you might swap jerseys. Rugby has a mutual guard of honour – GAA sports do not. Antrim may be one of the six counties but I don’t recall hearing of guards of honour being afforded to Armagh in 1977 or for Down or Derry in football.

Now, several Offaly folk thought it was lovely that Antrim got to hurl in an All-Ireland Final and that it was wonderful that hurling’s top table became a crowded place. And that’s their business. But for many, most of all the hurlers, that 1989 defeat to Antrim was a bitter pill to swallow. It was a chance lost for a number of that Offaly team to end their careers by appearing in an All-Ireland Final. That was Delaney’s last match, Eugene finished a year later, Fogarty a year after that, and so on. And we would have had the Seniors and Minors on the same stage on All-Ireland final day. The two Troys in goal! Now, others would say it dodged an inevitable All-Ireland defeat to Tipperary.
Looking back, that defeat to Antrim was the beginning of a series of significant breakthroughs made at Offaly’s expense. Dublin in 1991, Waterford U21s in 1992, Klare in 1995, Wexford in 1996. Antrim would enjoy a number of league wins over Offaly, twice Down beat Offaly at Offaly venues. That was before Carlow, Westmeath and Kerry got in on the act.
For me, there is no room for sentiment in sport. But then, I don’t watch matches willing the gallant underdog to win. For me, Kilkenny and Tipperary brought hurling to a whole new plane in their several All-Ireland meetings between 2009 and 2016 and I would be quite happy to see the pair meet every year if they continued to bring the best out of each other. I can’t help that.

And looking back, the catalyst for the litany of the breakthroughs was the guard of honour. It ay have been well intentioned, and it would have been thought of on the spot, someone in shock after an unexpected defeat. But the symbolism was that Offaly were cool with others making a breakthrough at their expense. Nobody else (with the exception of Ireland rugby, often beaten by Italy and Argentina in the bad old days) has ben on the receiving end of so many breakthroughs.
As for tomorrow, it is disappointing that Offaly have chosen to field the ‘second’ team. As I explained Thursday night, they should have chosen to keep the momentum. Particularly when working from a blank canvas as opposed to improving a team taken over from a previous management. Instead, we have a team (Antrim) facing 15 individuals. How could it be otherwise, they have never hurled together before? It gives Antrim the belief that they can beat Offaly if and when they next meet. And it offends the Birr club who are putting on their ‘Sunday best’ to showcase their hard work and their facilities.

frankthetank wrote:Excellent preview as always POTH but there is a point I must raise and it is something you have referenced frequently on this site over the years.

Following the 1989 All Ireland Semi - Final defeat to Antrim Offaly did indeed form a guard of honour for the victors. Rather than viewing it the way you do, as some sort of ceremonial surrender, I view it as a remarkable display of sportsmanship. No person that lives in the Republic has any idea as to what life was like for Catholics in the 6 counties during the Troubles. Those Antrim hurlers risked more than we can comprehend to just travel to training and matches and to have a hurl in your boot at an RUC checkpoint would have been a serious issue. Let alone walking around Belfast city centre in a GAA top.

I for one believe that that guard of honour showed that the Offaly hurlers acknowledged the sacrifices and the very real risks that that Antrim team endured to reach the promised land of an All Ireland Final and those risks are something that we can't even manage to attempt to comprehend. Instead of being ashamed of the actions of the Offaly hurlers after the game it should be something we cherish to show what a sporting and rational people we are. Hurling in 1989 ( and still is) was only a game. The Troubles were life and death.
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby LooseCannon » Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:39 pm

What’s up with Klare? I’ve followed the forum for a few years, before I became a registered user. I must have missed a trick somewhere along the line.
Oh, I remember llkj got annoyed by it along with the variations of Leix.
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby kingscounty » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:34 am

Plain of the Herbs wrote:Oh, there is no doubting the difficulties faced by the GAA community in the six counties. And those difficulties were brought home to me by Terence McNaughton in his book. I don’t have the book to hand right now, but I recall the situation being explained beginning something like - it’s easy to be a hurler in Tipperary (I’m paraphrasing).

There is a tradition of sportsmanship in GAA – you shake your opponent’s hand at the beginning and end, you might swap jerseys. Rugby has a mutual guard of honour – GAA sports do not. Antrim may be one of the six counties but I don’t recall hearing of guards of honour being afforded to Armagh in 1977 or for Down or Derry in football.

Now, several Offaly folk thought it was lovely that Antrim got to hurl in an All-Ireland Final and that it was wonderful that hurling’s top table became a crowded place. And that’s their business. But for many, most of all the hurlers, that 1989 defeat to Antrim was a bitter pill to swallow. It was a chance lost for a number of that Offaly team to end their careers by appearing in an All-Ireland Final. That was Delaney’s last match, Eugene finished a year later, Fogarty a year after that, and so on. And we would have had the Seniors and Minors on the same stage on All-Ireland final day. The two Troys in goal! Now, others would say it dodged an inevitable All-Ireland defeat to Tipperary.
Looking back, that defeat to Antrim was the beginning of a series of significant breakthroughs made at Offaly’s expense. Dublin in 1991, Waterford U21s in 1992, Klare in 1995, Wexford in 1996. Antrim would enjoy a number of league wins over Offaly, twice Down beat Offaly at Offaly venues. That was before Carlow, Westmeath and Kerry got in on the act.
For me, there is no room for sentiment in sport. But then, I don’t watch matches willing the gallant underdog to win. For me, Kilkenny and Tipperary brought hurling to a whole new plane in their several All-Ireland meetings between 2009 and 2016 and I would be quite happy to see the pair meet every year if they continued to bring the best out of each other. I can’t help that.

And looking back, the catalyst for the litany of the breakthroughs was the guard of honour. It ay have been well intentioned, and it would have been thought of on the spot, someone in shock after an unexpected defeat. But the symbolism was that Offaly were cool with others making a breakthrough at their expense. Nobody else (with the exception of Ireland rugby, often beaten by Italy and Argentina in the bad old days) has ben on the receiving end of so many breakthroughs.
As for tomorrow, it is disappointing that Offaly have chosen to field the ‘second’ team. As I explained Thursday night, they should have chosen to keep the momentum. Particularly when working from a blank canvas as opposed to improving a team taken over from a previous management. Instead, we have a team (Antrim) facing 15 individuals. How could it be otherwise, they have never hurled together before? It gives Antrim the belief that they can beat Offaly if and when they next meet. And it offends the Birr club who are putting on their ‘Sunday best’ to showcase their hard work and their facilities.

frankthetank wrote:Excellent preview as always POTH but there is a point I must raise and it is something you have referenced frequently on this site over the years.

Following the 1989 All Ireland Semi - Final defeat to Antrim Offaly did indeed form a guard of honour for the victors. Rather than viewing it the way you do, as some sort of ceremonial surrender, I view it as a remarkable display of sportsmanship. No person that lives in the Republic has any idea as to what life was like for Catholics in the 6 counties during the Troubles. Those Antrim hurlers risked more than we can comprehend to just travel to training and matches and to have a hurl in your boot at an RUC checkpoint would have been a serious issue. Let alone walking around Belfast city centre in a GAA top.

I for one believe that that guard of honour showed that the Offaly hurlers acknowledged the sacrifices and the very real risks that that Antrim team endured to reach the promised land of an All Ireland Final and those risks are something that we can't even manage to attempt to comprehend. Instead of being ashamed of the actions of the Offaly hurlers after the game it should be something we cherish to show what a sporting and rational people we are. Hurling in 1989 ( and still is) was only a game. The Troubles were life and death.

I would disagree , in fact your comments are belittling the panel in my view! It is a great opportunity to give lads a start and to see what we might have when it comes to playing championship! With the way the championship is structured and with games one after the other we need 30+ players. It’s doubtful any team will have a consistent 15 playing week in week out. While I know some lads might be better than others, as a manager I would have to believe a lad could do a job for me when called on, and I won’t know that until I give him proper game time.
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:52 am

I hear what you're saying. But if you want to see, for example, what Dermot Shortt can do at full-back when called on, you try him with Eoghan Cahill in goal and with Tom Spain and Ben Conneely either side. That's not what they've done here, and now no one is going to learn anything tomorrow. Tomorrow will do nothing g from the point of view of team building.
kingscounty wrote:I would disagree , in fact your comments are belittling the panel in my view! It is a great opportunity to give lads a start and to see what we might have when it comes to playing championship! With the way the championship is structured and with games one after the other we need 30+ players. It’s doubtful any team will have a consistent 15 playing week in week out. While I know some lads might be better than others, as a manager I would have to believe a lad could do a job for me when called on, and I won’t know that until I give him proper game time.
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby kingscounty » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:58 am

Plain of the Herbs wrote:I hear what you're saying. But if you want to see, for example, what Dermot Shortt can do at full-back when called on, you try him with Eoghan Cahill in goal and with Tom Spain and Ben Conneely either side. That's not what they've done here, and now no one is going to learn anything tomorrow. Tomorrow will do nothing g from the point of view of team building.
kingscounty wrote:I would disagree , in fact your comments are belittling the panel in my view! It is a great opportunity to give lads a start and to see what we might have when it comes to playing championship! With the way the championship is structured and with games one after the other we need 30+ players. It’s doubtful any team will have a consistent 15 playing week in week out. While I know some lads might be better than others, as a manager I would have to believe a lad could do a job for me when called on, and I won’t know that until I give him proper game time.

Yeah true I suppose , kinda a no win situation. Get the win boost panel players confidence and move on. Antrim will be no push overs, hope the weather stays fine and the pitch holds up, quarter final in Birr perhaps??
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:44 am

Apologies for the late post. With Offaly having had three home matches already, the chances of a home quarter-final are slender. A quarter-final against Wexford, Cork or Clare would be away (they having had just two home matches), while there would be a toss for venue if Offaly were paired with Kilkenny, Tipperary or Waterford. A home quarter-final would be in Bord na Móna Park. And there's now the perception out there (I must stress I don't agree with this point of view, but the perception is out there nonetheless) that the crunchie board picked the team in a bid to upstage Birr.

Absolutely, Antrim will be no pushovers. An Antrim win wouldn't surprise me, sadly.
kingscounty wrote:Yeah true I suppose , kinda a no win situation. Get the win boost panel players confidence and move on. Antrim will be no push overs, hope the weather stays fine and the pitch holds up, quarter final in Birr perhaps??
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby LooseCannon » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:31 am

Plain of the Herbs wrote:Apologies for the late post. With Offaly having had three home matches already, the chances of a home quarter-final are slender. A quarter-final against Wexford, Cork or Clare would be away (they having had just two home matches), while there would be a toss for venue if Offaly were paired with Kilkenny, Tipperary or Waterford. A home quarter-final would be in Bord na Móna Park. And there's now the perception out there (I must stress I don't agree with this point of view, but the perception is out there nonetheless) that the crunchie board picked the team in a bid to upstage Birr.

Absolutely, Antrim will be no pushovers. An Antrim win wouldn't surprise me, sadly.
kingscounty wrote:Yeah true I suppose , kinda a no win situation. Get the win boost panel players confidence and move on. Antrim will be no push overs, hope the weather stays fine and the pitch holds up, quarter final in Birr perhaps??

Picked the team?
As in the county that we had to play in Birr, or as in Frank Murphy style?
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:31 pm

Go back and read it again, with the emphasis on 'perception and 'I must stress I don't agree with this point of view.
LooseCannon wrote:
Plain of the Herbs wrote:Apologies for the late post. With Offaly having had three home matches already, the chances of a home quarter-final are slender. A quarter-final against Wexford, Cork or Clare would be away (they having had just two home matches), while there would be a toss for venue if Offaly were paired with Kilkenny, Tipperary or Waterford. A home quarter-final would be in Bord na Móna Park. And there's now the perception out there (I must stress I don't agree with this point of view, but the perception is out there nonetheless) that the crunchie board picked the team in a bid to upstage Birr.

Absolutely, Antrim will be no pushovers. An Antrim win wouldn't surprise me, sadly.
kingscounty wrote:Yeah true I suppose , kinda a no win situation. Get the win boost panel players confidence and move on. Antrim will be no push overs, hope the weather stays fine and the pitch holds up, quarter final in Birr perhaps??

Picked the team?
As in the county that we had to play in Birr, or as in Frank Murphy style?
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby private joker » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:44 pm

Antrim winning in Birr is a pretty big win for them. Where does this leave Offaly? Has progress been made. only finished +2 vs Dublins score difference.
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby SearingDrive » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:02 pm

private joker wrote:Antrim winning in Birr is a pretty big win for them. Where does this leave Offaly? Has progress been made. only finished +2 vs Dublins score difference.

Antrim fully deserved their win today. Far more positive than Offaly who looked peedestrian at times. Joe Bergin in the first half was Offaly's best player. Conor Slevin won't be happy conceding first half goal, and two clearances led to two Antrim points.

Huge improvement needed against Kilkenny the next day.
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby Buttons » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:24 pm

Hoping the game is in Tullamore next Sunday as part of a double header with the footballers.
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby kaiserchief » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:29 pm

when is the draw?
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby Bord na Mona man » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:12 pm

Just to expand on the Antrim guard of honour thing.

Antrim hurling’s other massive breakthroughs are the two club All Irelands they won - Loughiel Shamrocks in 1983 and 2012. Both of these at the expense of Offaly teams, St Rynagh’s and Coolderry respectively.

Some of their best near misses were where Offaly teams needed scores at the death to survive against Antrim teams.
1995 Birr vs. Dunloy drawn club All Ireland, Shane Dooley’s last puck equaliser in the 2010 Leinster Championship, a somewhat dubious late goal to beat Antrim in the 2014 championship.

At some level they will believe that Offaly teams offer them a good chance of a scalp. Going down to Birr yesterday, with a 4-2 winning record there and Offaly in experimental mode, you can imagine how buoyant Antrim would have been.
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby Toxicity234 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:40 pm

Tullamore 1pm Sunday.
“Common sense is not so common.”
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby SearingDrive » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:25 pm

Toxicity234 wrote:Tullamore 1pm Sunday.

At least we won the toss for venue! Nothing to lose on Sunday, give a huge effort v Cats.
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