Standard of Senior club hurling in Offaly

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Fairplayalways
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Standard of Senior club hurling in Offaly

Post by Fairplayalways » Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:45 pm

Hi am a regular game attender and since the games came back (be it for a week or so before being chopped again) and have watched almost all of the first weekends games online on the stream which i have to say is a great service.

I was watching other club games also on TG4 and RTE over the last number of /weeks/months and contrary to what I see people on here saying often that our club hurling is as good as any other county.

Unfortunately, I am of the mind that it is not, attending club games and and watching on the tv stream really brough this home, but the amount of rucks, piling in, scrappy play etc. is becoming very obvious to me anyway. Has anyone esle copped this?

No doubt the Gaels might jump on me for saying such a thing, but I stand over it, with the exception of a few excellent hurlers we do have dotted around the clubs. We see club players on TG4 from Wexford and Waterford and Limerick, who are not county panelists for one reason or other, and they are are upthere skill wise with the their county counterparts...

Also, the teams themselves (as a result of what I percieve having better players) seem a level or two above our club teams..they are better to watch, the games are better standard simply put. I seen club teams playing on TG4 whom I think would beat some intercounty teams I would nearly go as far as..I know it can look that way, but they do appear a bit (a good bit) ahead of us standard wise..

Need I say, this is no slight on any of our county or club players, how they give their time and commitment to the current game is beyond me to be honest..this is just a view on the state of club hurling in Offaly - nothing persnal.

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Re: Standard of Senior club hurling in Offaly

Post by Plain of the Herbs » Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:20 am

Like yourself, I mean no slight on any of the players involved, but I generally agree with the tone of your message.

And until the culture of 'drive it, drive it' is abandoned, the gulf will continue. Watch any matches next weekend closely - how many will see a team make three consecutive passes without the ball being dropped? Hardly any. Keep an eye. The complete rejection by the grassroots of any form of advanced coaching during the last two decades is now showing itself.

I watched Cuala play a group match in Dublin last year - what they'd do to the Offaly county team is a scary thought. I saw Kilmallock on RTE recently - same verdict.

I'll leave it there for now, but this is something I hope to return to during the winter when things quieten down.
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.

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Re: Standard of Senior club hurling in Offaly

Post by Fairplayalways » Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:15 pm

yeah its something I am noticing a bit more, that said I must have put the curse on the Wexford final today because after 2 excellent semi finals the final was on TG4 and to be honest, I thought it was very scrappy by times, Shelmaliers won beathing Naomh Eanna (Gorey) both are fairly recent winners so I thought it might be tad better.

Charlie McGuckian (son of Shane - St. Rynaghs and Offaly corrner back in 1994 was playing for Naomh Eanna and wasnt great to be honest...he was underage with Wexford so expected a bit more...anyway, finals arent always guaranteed to be good after a semi-finals....

the club and intercounty being separate is winning great praise from what I see...it might be a help to countys like Offaly with no huge gaps between games and more players might get into a good vein of form and might project a more truer championship (I always reckon the club all Ireland should be finished out fully in the one calendar year - new teams win a provincial and the gap from November to February is big enough and if drawn agains an experienced team/reigning champions 9/10 are beaten - they might be anyway but I just saying I think they loose their momentum with the break)

Anyway, I think now too the amount of fixtures is more suited to teams with bigger/strongeer squads etc. and I think that too is not helping teams like Offaly...in both codes particulary football...

interesting to see how this club championship pans out...KIlcormac and Rynaghs are the best teams I have seen in it so far...how would either do outside the county is the test, and bar Kilcormac and Coolderry over the last decaded, we have been topped over very easy indeed when out..the mentality of "ah sure they won the county, that will do them" absolutely drives me mad when I hear it...Birr, you have to hand it to them...

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Re: Standard of Senior club hurling in Offaly

Post by Lone Shark » Sun Aug 23, 2020 11:49 pm

I tend to take in about a half a dozen Galway SHC games first hand every year for working reasons, aside from a random selection of others all around the country, and unfortunately I'd have to concur with a lot of this. I was at Sarsfields vs Castlegar yesterday, and it's not that anything would blow you away - but the sheer physicality of the game, the speed with which it's played and the fraction of a second every player has on the ball is a world apart from what we see in Offaly club games. Cappataggle vs Loughrea a couple of weeks previously was the same story. Outstanding games to watch. Tynagh-Abbey/Duniry vs Tommie Larkins wasn't quite at the same pitch, but it wasn't terrible, and they're two clubs that didn't make knockouts. I shudder to think how good St. Thomas' were to rack up 4-38 against Portumna.

You'll get Offaly club games that are played at a fast tempo, and then you'll get Offaly club games that are physical - but it's very rare that you get one that ranks highly on both counts. Some of it is down to depth of course. These clubs have a decent size pick, they've a good culture of strength and conditioning work, and even the lads that tog out wearing numbers from 27 upwards tend to look like intercounty hurlers in terms of their physique.

And no, that doesn't control or strike the ball well for you, but one doesn't preclude the other. And if you've 32 lads that look like they could do a job for Leinster rugby at full back or outside centre, any of them that has a decent touch and a nice pair of wrists is going to be pretty damn effective.

And as POTH referred to as well, the "drive it" ball simply doesn't exist. You mightn't see one the whole game. That's not to say that they don't play it long at times, but if they do, it's targeted. It's always to a forward in a one-on-one situation, and always to the advantage of that forward, whether that's up in the air to the lad who has four inches on his marker, or fast and low to the speedy corner man. The idea of horsing it 90 yards in the general direction of the opposition goal and then it's the forward's responsibility to make the best of it simply doesn't wash.
Kevin Egan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.

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Re: Standard of Senior club hurling in Offaly

Post by greenairfield » Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:35 pm

I tend to agree with the above comments at a general scale but then I hear results of challenge games where Offaly teams are beating top teams from these big counties.
Yes I know they are challenge games but if you take this as an example Birr played Borrisleigh a few weeks ago and there was nothing in the game and it was played with huge intensity they were in the club final in March

So I am not sure if certain teams are that far off.

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Re: Standard of Senior club hurling in Offaly

Post by Fairplayalways » Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:39 pm

with a hesitant push, I would offer maybe St. Rynhaghs and Kilcormac to play a team like Borrisoleigh or St. Thomas's (we will leave Ballyhale out of the loop for clear reasons) but to throw in a cosistent good team who have not won the AI club, say Ballygunner of Waterford, I would be a worried Offaly supporter heading to such a game, no doubt the county stars on each of those Offaly teams would probably hold their own but the over all standard of the rest of the team would really worry me...every game is different, true, but the standard I see in Offaly is way of the tempo and skill level we see in games involving any of the example clubs listed above...Na Piarsaigh of Limerick, another team who would be similar...our totals of 2-22 etc. are made up of maybe 0-12 from frees, these other counties have one player chipping in with 1-15 maybe in most games with 1-05 from play...we dont have on a consistent basis that type of forward, and the proof is in the Leinster Club championship when, every year almost our county champions seem to bow out without a whimper..

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Re: Standard of Senior club hurling in Offaly

Post by bracknaghboy » Tue Sep 01, 2020 6:41 pm

Great topic.
I usually see a couple of games down in Carlow during a normal year.
What has stood out for me over the last few years is the difference between the ability of Carlow club players to win ball in the air compared to what I see in our club games. High ball being caught all over the pitch verses the odd player in Offaly games. Watkins, Cleary, Kilmartin, Healion, Kelly, Bergin and the like can win aerial after that there is a lot of half hearted attempts from lads or ball falling out of lads hands to the ground. Apart from that there is little difference in style or standard.

Am I the only one that thinks that our senior club teams have a significant number of smaller, lighter players in the forward line.
Nothing wrong with that as such and it may well win an Offaly championship but they are likely to be pushed around against tougher opposition in winter fixtures.

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Re: Standard of Senior club hurling in Offaly

Post by Fairplayalways » Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:33 am

good reply, only your Ben Coneelys and Cillian Kielys and their ilk will come out of the clouds with a ball on a consistent basis, OIisn Kelly can win the breaking ball on the ground fast and turn and go with it, others seem to almost need planning permission to lift the ball and get pushed off it very easily, and any counter attempt to regain posession is almost a personal grudge attempt with more emphasis on "I'll get you back" almost rather than winning the ball and making off with it...I know that sounds petty but you get my general drift..I suppose if Offaly were to go with 6 big physical forwards then we may not get the scores we need, I always maintain a physical half forward line, a big full forward and then two not so big corner forwards...all our forwards look the same and at a glance one cannot really make out where they are meant to be playing, but infairness thats the way the game has gone in recent times..

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Re: Standard of Senior club hurling in Offaly

Post by Liam2020 » Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:59 pm

Could the problem be not that players drop balls but the inability of players to move a ball on the ground or in the air if it does not go the hand. Great if ur let catch it.
The reason is first time hurling is not coached, it easy to coach running, short passing but it take real skill and coordination to hit a moving ball and be able to pass to a team mate, (John troy like)
We were better than any other Team at it in the 90s. Cork were in awe of first time hurling. Ger Loughnane said if u hit an offaly hurler it's a free because he would have moved the ball.
D Healy introduced that drill of 3 lads across the field with 2 sliotars, moving it first time. AND EVERY HURLING CLUB DID IT EVERY EVENING.
That resulted in wrist hurlers who could move the ball at speed and react to breaks.
Modern training is all about perfect ball and it run run, unless we marry the old and the new we are going to stay falling. There is no player with half the skill of Brian whelahan John troy Johnny p Johnny dooley now.,or the won't be unless we go back to a skill based approach.

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Re: Standard of Senior club hurling in Offaly

Post by Fairplayalways » Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:40 pm

100% correct, and our top county players, the few we have have enough skill not to need the basic skills, its the majority of the team who are not top class (nothing personal in that now either) that probably need these skills more than our top players..very hard to see us going back to basics at this stage, I think we have come too far if you know what I mean...

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Re: Standard of Senior club hurling in Offaly

Post by Plain of the Herbs » Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:59 pm

Newsflash! The earth is not flat.

I don't see the logic in giving the ball away to the opposition. The difference is that in the old days you could give the ball away without consequence, because you'd get it back again 10 seconds later. Now, give the ball away and you are effectively conceding a score. I can't make it simpler than that.

Fine if the hurling people of Offaly refuse to change their ways. Offaly will continue to be overtaken and to slip down hurling's rankings. Meath and Kildare will be next to outrank them.

And stop using John Troy in an attempt to embellish a flawed argument. John Troy was unique.

I'm tired of saying this here, but in 1957, Fr Tommy Maher was encouraging his Kilkenny charges to think their way around the field. Over 60 years later, we're here in Offaly and lads are preaching the opposite.

It's like a flawed education system: don't be imaginative, don't be creative, don't be bold, conform, conform, conform. Taylor Swift could have written the lyrics "when you are young they assume you know nothing" for young hurlers who see progressive hurling on TV but are roared at to 'drive it, drive it' when they take to the training field or playing field themselves.

Then again, when Limerick hurl on TV and Diarmuid Byrnes (or whoever) finds Aaron Gillane with a 60 yards pass, the 'drive its' probably think the defender has just lamped the ball and that Gillane has been standing on the same spot unmarked.

There really is no hope for Offaly hurling if that attitude continues.
Liam2020 wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:59 pm
Could the problem be not that players drop balls but the inability of players to move a ball on the ground or in the air if it does not go the hand. Great if ur let catch it.
The reason is first time hurling is not coached, it easy to coach running, short passing but it take real skill and coordination to hit a moving ball and be able to pass to a team mate, (John troy like)
We were better than any other Team at it in the 90s. Cork were in awe of first time hurling. Ger Loughnane said if u hit an offaly hurler it's a free because he would have moved the ball.
D Healy introduced that drill of 3 lads across the field with 2 sliotars, moving it first time. AND EVERY HURLING CLUB DID IT EVERY EVENING.
That resulted in wrist hurlers who could move the ball at speed and react to breaks.
Modern training is all about perfect ball and it run run, unless we marry the old and the new we are going to stay falling. There is no player with half the skill of Brian whelahan John troy Johnny p Johnny dooley now.,or the won't be unless we go back to a skill based approach.
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.

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Re: Standard of Senior club hurling in Offaly

Post by Plain of the Herbs » Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:20 pm

Have a read of this if you want some analysis backed up with facts:
http://sixtwofourtwo.com/dear-1989-you- ... h-hurling/
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.

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Re: Standard of Senior club hurling in Offaly

Post by Bord na Mona man » Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:40 pm

The ability to execute first time hurling is great to have, especially near the goals.
And in ordinary play, if a player can direct the ball to a colleague via a pull or a whip, then great. However on balance it's a risky option due to the amount of times it doesn't work out.
I suspect that any player who has missed a catch is likely to be scrambling and unlikely to be in enough control to be able to find a spare colleague. Possession is 9/10ths of the law, if you've missed it the first time, get it into the paw no matter how attempts it takes. The worst outcome is giving away a free for overholding. On the other hand you could unlock your defence with a loose pull.

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Re: Standard of Senior club hurling in Offaly

Post by Bord na Mona man » Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:55 pm

Plain of the Herbs wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:20 pm
Have a read of this if you want some analysis backed up with facts:
http://sixtwofourtwo.com/dear-1989-you- ... h-hurling/
That's a brilliant read, which confirms what we've long since suspected, but were probably too sentimental to ever want it confirmed.

Interesting analysis of the 'punt pass' which is the 'drive it' option in Offaly. It certainly doesn't pay off at elite level.
In Offaly club hurling I suspect 'drive it' is simply the lesser of too evils - better to give away the ball deep in the opposition half than in your own half trying to execute possession oriented moves that the players don't have the skills for.

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Re: Standard of Senior club hurling in Offaly

Post by joe bloggs » Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:39 pm

Plain of the Herbs wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:59 pm
Newsflash! The earth is not flat.

I don't see the logic in giving the ball away to the opposition. The difference is that in the old days you could give the ball away without consequence, because you'd get it back again 10 seconds later. Now, give the ball away and you are effectively conceding a score. I can't make it simpler than that.

Fine if the hurling people of Offaly refuse to change their ways. Offaly will continue to be overtaken and to slip down hurling's rankings. Meath and Kildare will be next to outrank them.

And stop using John Troy in an attempt to embellish a flawed argument. John Troy was unique.

I'm tired of saying this here, but in 1957, Fr Tommy Maher was encouraging his Kilkenny charges to think their way around the field. Over 60 years later, we're here in Offaly and lads are preaching the opposite.

It's like a flawed education system: don't be imaginative, don't be creative, don't be bold, conform, conform, conform. Taylor Swift could have written the lyrics "when you are young they assume you know nothing" for young hurlers who see progressive hurling on TV but are roared at to 'drive it, drive it' when they take to the training field or playing field themselves.

Then again, when Limerick hurl on TV and Diarmuid Byrnes (or whoever) finds Aaron Gillane with a 60 yards pass, the 'drive its' probably think the defender has just lamped the ball and that Gillane has been standing on the same spot unmarked.

There really is no hope for Offaly hurling if that attitude continues.
Liam2020 wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:59 pm
Could the problem be not that players drop balls but the inability of players to move a ball on the ground or in the air if it does not go the hand. Great if ur let catch it.
The reason is first time hurling is not coached, it easy to coach running, short passing but it take real skill and coordination to hit a moving ball and be able to pass to a team mate, (John troy like)
We were better than any other Team at it in the 90s. Cork were in awe of first time hurling. Ger Loughnane said if u hit an offaly hurler it's a free because he would have moved the ball.
D Healy introduced that drill of 3 lads across the field with 2 sliotars, moving it first time. AND EVERY HURLING CLUB DID IT EVERY EVENING.
That resulted in wrist hurlers who could move the ball at speed and react to breaks.
Modern training is all about perfect ball and it run run, unless we marry the old and the new we are going to stay falling. There is no player with half the skill of Brian whelahan John troy Johnny p Johnny dooley now.,or the won't be unless we go back to a skill based approach.

I couldn't believe what I was reading further up the page.
Aimless ground hurling is gone. As you said if you concede possession now at the top level, the opposition will most likely generate a scoring chance from it, whereas in the past if the ball was lost, often the return ball coming back at you was not much better than 50-50.

In club hurling in offaly you will still.largely get away with "drive it" but not at intercounty level. Its a bit like when I play snooker. I know I can take on a risky pot and miss it, as my opponent will probably only score 20 to 30 points at best , but if i were playing Ronnie O'Sullivan I couldn't be so carefree.
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