Offaly 0-9 v 1-15 Dublin Leinster final analysis

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Offaly 0-9 v 1-15 Dublin Leinster final analysis

Postby turk » Sun Jul 16, 2006 8:39 pm

Keep the faith lads
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Postby OffalyManAway » Mon Jul 17, 2006 3:04 am

Clearly the scoreline did not reflect how well Offaly put it up to the Dubs.

Niall Mc and Deehan kicked some incredible points and then missed sitters - why is that ?.

Ref was brutal all round , far too giddy with the yellow card.

Backs seemd to tire badly in the second half.

Overall a lot to be proud of this year, and its not over yet ! :P
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Postby Lone Shark » Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:00 am

On days like this, it’s not the despair that’s hard to deal with – it’s the hope. A Leinster final can make the philosopher come out in many of us. How can the human mind accommodate logic and reason, both of which firmly indicated that yesterday’s scoreline was highly possible if not probable, while also housing that innate optimism which survives despite many repeated batterings down the years? Surely the two cannot co-exist? And yet in the build up to this Leinster Final, it was hard to quell the inner demons of optimism and hope from surfacing within. All attempts at engaging logic to throw an analogous bucket of cold water at these hopes were shot down as the little sprites had a response for everything. Dublin demolishing Laois? Ah that was just Laois lying down and dying, as they are prone to do by times. Conal Keaney and Ray Cosgrove in flying form? Good forwards, overhyped by the Dublin press machine. Offaly struggling past moderate opposition? Doing all that was needed, with more to come no doubt. Offaly management unproven at reacting quickly to changes in a game, a vital skill when taking on Hill 16 driven Dubs? They’ve been better lately, maybe they’ve learned. The fittest team in Ireland up against an Offaly team who have been known to be strong for 60 minutes and flag for the last ten? Surely we won’t end up with 14 men again ……

Even on Saturday there were further warning signs and still it proved impossible to heed them. Much of the basis for the presumption that Dublin were far from the finished article was the fact that they had struggled to get past Longford, and that surely any team unable to win such a game comfortably is not yet part of the country’s top tier. Longford 1-16 Derry 2-12. Hmmm. The thought crosses that maybe a two point win in Pearse Park is actually a good result after all.

Despite all this, the stomach still churned with thoughts of “maybe” while the national anthem was being sung. Every pass in the warm up was being scrutinized and the signs were good. First whistle, McManus broke and McNamee scooped up the throw in, leading to a brief hope that maybe our midfield could compete for primary possession after all. And as for when Offaly got those three early scores…….

Never gonna happen.

The truth is that Offaly could look back on this game with every right to complain about a referee that truly and utterly choked in front of the Hill, we could look back on bad breaks and dodgy dismissals, but this match did exactly what it said on the tin. 3/1 second favourites in the race for Sam taking on 40/1 rag outsiders. It was big day veterans taking on young tyros, both in terms of the players, and to a lesser extent the management personnel. It was a team capable of playing consistently well interspersed with hot streaks taking on a side that is consistently competitive but rarely spectacular.

For Offaly to win that game, they needed to play at their best, and get every break going. When Marty Duffy was appointed, the first big break certainly went Dublin’s way. Refereeing in front of a packed, noisy and extremely partisan Hill 16 is no easy task – it really should be left to only the top referees in Ireland. All too often the response from the referee was in proportion to the noise generated by the baying boys in blue. Several soft frees were won in the second half when Dublin players went down under what appeared to be legitimate pressure, leading to simple scores. However this was nothing in comparison to the dismissal that wasn’t in the first half – Cluxton’s two footed lunge at Cathal Daly that cost Offaly a one on one goal chance while also risking serious injury to the player. It was a clear dismissal, but under the light blue sky and the light blue terrace, a yellow card was given, and Dublin had profited from his flagrant assault. In the cold hard light of day, Offaly didn’t lose the match because of this, but when one looks at the red card count for the year – four Offaly reds as opposed to none for any opponents, it doesn’t seem to tally with the fact that the only two really dangerous acts in Offaly games have been by opponents – Forde first, and now Cluxton. One hopes that refereeing appointments for Dublin games at HQ are looked at more carefully from now on in light of this.

It was the kind of day when help was also needed from the sideline, but it never came. Dublin began to gather a lot of momentum at the start of the second half, and at 0-8 to 0-7 Offaly clearly needed to find ways to take the heat out of the game. Surely by now we’ve played Mick O’Dwyer managed sides enough to realise the benefits of a well timed injury stoppage? Why must we continue to toil honestly, when other sides take the GAA version of a time out when we get some continuity going? Our two midfielders were clearly struggling to win ball, and still we waited until one of them was dismissed, and waited some more, before Mark Daly was brought in. Not bringing him in earlier to give Kelly more kickout options was a mistake – not bringing him in for almost ten minutes after the red card was unforgiveable.

And so to Laois. Not the draw that many would have hoped for, but plenty of cause for optimism nonetheless. Yet again the spotlight will be on the more fashionable team in blue, but if our panel can take the time to regroup and realise that this is a team that were there to be beaten last year, that they have been beaten already this year and can see this game as a one off opportunity to reach an All Ireland quarter final, there’s no reason to be pessimistic.

Last Sunday we took on the now favourites for the All Ireland and competed, albeit losing ground towards the end. Laois are much more within Offaly’s scope, and hopefully Saturday week will prove this.

Lousy hope, it just never goes away …….
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Postby Bord na Mona man » Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:27 am

Disappointing day for Offaly. The scoreline was probably harsh, but Dublin have always been excellent at pressing home an advantage.

Offaly's attacking tactics have been criticised, but we didn't have the physical strength to carry it through the Dublin lines, so the option to kick it in early to the two inside men was probably the best one.
At midfield we were dominated. Shane Ryan caught some great ball and made some great leaps. Granted he wasn't put under enough pressure. Over the years he seems to be the last Dublin player to get credit and the first one to take stick.

Unfortunately for the 4th game in a row we had a man sent off for two yellows. The ref seemed quick to issue Offaly players with cards and ticks while equivalent Dublin fouls didn't get the same sanction. Before half time, I had the feeling we wouldn't finish the game with 15, such was the speed that cards were being issued. We probably needed Cluxton to get red carded for busting into Froggie when a goal looked on. In front of the Hill it was optimistic to expect him to do so.

We did run out of steam and the concentration might have suffered with tiredness. Our defence worked very hard through the game but could only keep the Dubs out for so long.

Again our two inside assassions did a lot of good work. They won some balls they had no right to win, especially as the quality of delivery deteriorated. A few of their shots were sadly off target. It took Mad Mac a while to tune in his radar for the long range frees. We needed to least by 3 points at half time, given the inevitability of a Dublin onslaught.

Still it has been a productive year for Offaly. We were beaten by a side that could very close to an All Ireland and there is no shame in that. It will be a while before any more cheap Leinsters are won by the looks of things.
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Postby Martin kinnitty » Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:33 am

Hard luck to the footballers yesterday. I’m here depressed after it today. We did reasonably well in first half, but struggled in 2nd half. players tried their best, some lads played well, others struggled. The biggest problem was our failure to win kick outs and get pssession. The ref didn’t help our cause but the best team won anyway. Offaly didn’t deserve to lose by 9 points. The atmosphere was great. The Dubs were great, but fair play to the Offaly support there, it was a great crowd for our population.Everybody roared the team on. I hope the players and supporters give it a lash against Laois in 2 weeks. It was a tough draw but Offaly can still get to All Ireland Quarter-Final which would be a great achievement and experience. But I’m afraid of players letting themselves go after losing yesterday.

Quote from Eugene McGee in Monday's Independent "Yesterday's referee made his mark in recent years as a referee of ladies football. That's about the kindest comment most people who watched this game would be be able to come up with."
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Postby Bord na Mona man » Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:53 am

Disappointed Faithful focus on cards amid talk of 'nervous' referee

SLIGO referee Marty Duffy won't need to wait on any Christmas cards from the Offaly camp following yesterday's Leinster SFC final clash with Dublin at Croke Park.

The sending-off of their midfielder Alan McNamee midway through the second half for two yellow card offences - or, more accurately, for three 'ticks' - didn't go down well with the Faithful.

McNamee got shown the black book in the 19th minute, received his first yellow card three minutes later for a silly foul on Ciaran Whelan and from then on, he was forced to walk a tightrope.

The Rhode clubman lasted until the 53th minute when he grounded Coman Goggins after the Dublin wing-back had released the ball to Alan Brogan, who duly split the posts.


But as Offaly 'keeper Pádraig Kelly was placing the ball for the resulting kick-out, Goggins needed medical treatment and Duffy called over McNamee to give him his marching orders - much to Offaly manager Kevin Kilmurray's displeasure.

"As a manager, you choose your words and you choose them well. What I will do is I'll look at the tape and get a chance to see what I want to have a look at, and it's better then to comment after that," stated the Offaly boss when asked about the dismissal.

"I still don't know what happened, but I'll look at it," he added.

"I'd say there's a little bit of gamesmanship there, but I'll check it out."

When pressed further, Kilmurray said that he would prefer to look at the match tape before saying anything else.

"I'm sure there's plenty of experts - I'm looking at all ye guys, so I'll be interested to what your comments make of it.

"For the moment, I can't say," Kilmurray told reporters shortly after the final whistle.

Kilmurray's captain, Karol Slattery, went a bit further by describing the sending-off as "harsh",before highlighting the foul on Cathal Daly which got Dublin 'keeper Stephen Cluxton a yellow card just before half-time.

"He (Cluxton) took him out deliberately and in soccer, he was gone off. Cathal would have been straight through on goal. Instead, it was just a booking whereas Alan got sent off harshly. Cathal was hit and got up straight away. I'm not going to say anything, but some guys lay down easier than others and I'll let ye talk about that," remarked Slattery.

The Offaly skipper also made a point of stressing that "the best team on the day won" but he felt the referee was "very nervous" and he added: "A bit like ourselves, it was a new experience for him - I think the GAA should think about that. It's not being sore losers. The best team on the day won, but we spend so much time training, all we want is fair play and consistency."

Down the corridor, Dubs boss Paul 'Pillar' Caffrey was doing his best to keep everything in perspective, but was pleased to see his Sky Blues become the first team in 11 years win back-to-back Leinster titles.

"There wasn't much style about the first half - 0-6 all. But a good solid second-half display and I'm very relieved," he reflected.

"The first half wasn't a great display of football, six points was a poor return for the amount of ball we had. But again, I think credit should be given to Offaly. We said it all along that they would be well up for this game and they were.

Bottom line

"The bottom line is that every year Dublin need to be winning trophies and that goes at all age groups. I'm a big Dublin supporter and any year Dublin don't have silverware, it's a disappointing year. In that respect, it (retaining the title) is important - absolutely."

Meanwhile, before the qualifier draw was made, Kilmurray said that it would be hard to get the players motivated for the back door. But after being paired with fierce rivals Laois, that job should be somewhat easier.
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Different Rules and Standards for the Dubs

Postby The Biff » Mon Jul 17, 2006 12:05 pm

Ah what might have been ...

There but for the Grace of God go .....

If only .....

If only ..... if only all teams could play to the same set of rules.

If only we could get a ref who refused to be intimidated and didn't decide that he was going to make sure he himself was the "centre of attention" in front of a full Croke Park. Sure he might not get a day out like this again.

I pray to God that this is so.

By most comparisons, this was a very clean game. There were no punches thrown, no elbows, no sneaky trips, no need for Blood Subs, no players carried off (in fact I dont think any player went off injured), no standing on the heads of prone players, no nasty premeditated challenges on committed players.

Except one. Cluxton's foul stands out head and shoulders above all other incidents in the game and yet it is deemed no worse than most of the rest. Why? I cant help wondering if that foul had happened at the other end of the pitch, away from the baying Hill, would the ref had acted differently? or would a different ref had acted differently?

But as the game progressed, it became clear that the Dubs are allowed have different standards, whether we like it or not. The persistent booing of opposition free-takers for no particular reason other than they are the opposition; the disparity of sanctions from the ref, the pitch invasion before the end of the game.

I dont mind losing a game to better team as long as I'm satisfied that we've been given a "fair crack of the whip". Dublin were quite superior to us yesterday that they did not need additional help from the referee. But they got it, and it saddens me. I can only hope that our players are better able to put this disappointment behind them quickly and move on to preparations for the Laois challenge.

I want to hold on to some of that bitterness for one more night; until I can confront some of my Dub-supporting neighbours tonight over a jar. They are so easily wound-up, its an opportunity I feel duty-bound to exploit. :twisted:
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Postby naasmanxrhode » Mon Jul 17, 2006 12:49 pm

Ref bottled it in front of them wankers on the hill, but we have to get on with it. We were unlucky and we sometimes took some wrong options. We are not that far away. We needed a goal. I just hope that them wankers d'ont win sam.

As for the next game, I feel that drawing Laois is a great draw and the winners to play Mayo and then the Dubs in an AllIreland Semi. If Offaly keep their heads up they may just get a second chance to play them wankers with a top ref in control
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Postby As Such Ger » Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:15 pm

something tells me that u arent particularly keen about the Dubs then naasman.
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Postby turk » Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:40 pm

We have to take it on the chin lads!

Ref wasn't good by any means but we're well able for it!

We'll be back!!!!
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Postby BUFFALO » Mon Jul 17, 2006 10:49 pm

It aint exactly an analysis of the match,but in fact is a scathing condemnation of the scumbag dubs supporters. As I stood on the Hill I was initially greeted with respect and suprise. But come half-time when it looked like we might upset the odds they turned on us and it was quite sad to experience at a GAA match. Verbal abuse followed by physical abuse, it was more like being at an Old Firm game. 'West Brits' who have contributed fully to the denegration of the famous craic and banter of the GAA, such a shame to see our great tradition being turned into drunken thuggery that resembles the notorious hooliganism seen throughout 'the foreign game'. To exemplify my point, a bottle thrown at Froggy when onfront of the Hill, and another bottle throwing incident during the second half. Scum, scangers, knackers etc., these are not GAA fans, rather they are a vermin that dont respect the traditions inherent in the GAA and Irish culture. I have lost all respect for them and am outraged at their loutish behaviour. ALLEZ LES FAITHFUL.
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Postby The Rover » Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:18 pm

Overall a good performance from the team and should give us good confidence going into the Laois game once we get over the initial disappointment.

Croke Park is traditionally worth 3 points to Dublin and yesterday with their huge support and the performance of the referee it was worth at least that. The fact that we played the last quarter of the game with 14 men was worth another 3 to Dublin, particularly given their fitness and the pace at which they play the game.

On a like for like basis Dublin were on the day good for about a three point victory over Offaly. Given that Dublin will be one of the top contenders for the All Ireland that leaves us a little but not too far off the pace.

Some of the reports today indicated that Dublin missed a lot of chances but I think the psychological blow to Offaly at the end of the first half through the missed goal / no red card for Clxuton / missing the resultant free more than outweiged the Dublin misses. Then as the whistle went for half time the Dublin backs continued to intimidate the Offaly forwards and a couple of our smaller forwards seemed to have to make a run for dressing rooms glancing around desparately for help from a "big brother" that didn't come. This indicated to me one of the main deficiencies in this Offaly team - lots of individual players doing a good job but missing one or two leaders to rally the troops.

Looking forwar to the Laois game we need to work on a bit more vareity in the forward game plan. Relying on two good corner forwards isn't enough at this stage of the championship and we need at least two others to pose a significant scoring threath. Going to Port Laoise isn't going to be easy but in terms of player ability we're as good or better. Let's get this one out of the way and then go on to put right that defeat to Mayo in the semi-final nine years ago.
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Re: Analysis

Postby Lone Shark » Tue Jul 18, 2006 12:05 am

The Rover wrote:Then as the whistle went for half time the Dublin backs continued to intimidate the Offaly forwards and a couple of our smaller forwards seemed to have to make a run for dressing rooms glancing around desparately for help from a "big brother" that didn't come. This indicated to me one of the main deficiencies in this Offaly team - lots of individual players doing a good job but missing one or two leaders to rally the troops.

That's an excellent point. Possibly partially due to Brady being off the field, but we do lack a bit of an "enforcing" presence on the field. McManus probably has to keep his temper on a short leash so can't let it go too much, while McNamee is just not the confrontational type.

Generally though even the lads on our team who would be well able to look after themselves - I'm thinking the likes of Slattery and Neville Coughlan here - aren't big intimidating guys. Yet another role we miss James Grennan for.

I'm not really sure what to do about that. Footballers generally know each other very well - is there maybe a case for saying that sometimes we should perhaps harness Declan Kelly's reputation? I'm sure there's plenty of players out there who are inclined towards a little bit of verbals to intimidate guys, like Dublin was at towards Niall and Tommo. Maybe if someone like Kelly was to whisper in their ear that one more word out of turn and they might have some random bone of theirs broken in return, anyone who knew who he was might worry that this is possibly the one guy in Ireland who could mean exactly that, and that you mightn't want to call the bluff of.

I don't really like what I'm advocating here, but Dublin have a bigger team and a hostile home environment - no point not playing the trump cards we do have.
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Postby Tom » Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:41 am

have to agree with whats already been said really. Dublin were the better team, but they weren't 9 points better. All we can ask for on a day when we are huge underdogs is a fair crack at the whip, but time and time again, we see that the GAA is eager to keep the Dubs in the championship. The Dubs in an All-Ireland quarter final is a guaranteed full house which the GAA don't want to lose, by sending them to play an away qualifier "down the country". It's just a little it annoying when you need a bit of luck on your side, to cause a massive upset, and the ref chickens out of sending off cluxton for a lunge at Cathal Daly. I have no doubt the the card happy Duffy would have had no problem giving padraig kelly his marching orders had it been the other side.

Anyway, we just weren't good enough on the day. Let's hope we can overturn Laois now and get ouselves into an All-Ireland quarter final.
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Postby Bord na Mona man » Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:49 am

BUFFALO wrote:I have lost all respect for them and am outraged at their loutish behaviour. ALLEZ LES FAITHFUL.

Buffalo, was that yourself with the Allez Les Faithful flag?
We saw that you were forced to move to the edge of the Hill having earlier being closer to the middle.
Unfortunately the way the tickets were allocated, there was no feasible option for getting a good Offaly contingent onto the Hill, so unfortunately you were thrown to the wolves a little bit.
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