2018 NHL

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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby allstar2010 » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:21 pm

LooseCannon wrote:
allstar2010 wrote:
LooseCannon wrote:
Yes, can get level on points with either Galway or Limerick, but head to head would come into play.
Similarly, Dublin or Leix could get level on points with us, but the same would apply.


Explain how we can get level on points with either Limerick or Galway??


Apologies, I made a mistake. Brainfart on my behalf. I should’ve (a) known, and (b) double-checked.
I don’t know what made me think that we were only two points off either of them.
Was never the greatest at maths, but that was simply unacceptable by me. :cry: :cry:


No hassle
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby LooseCannon » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:02 am

allstar2010 wrote:
No hassle


Thanks.
I’m both ashamed and embarrassed. :|

I must be losing it altogether!
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The day for rolling over be gone!

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:01 pm

Debate this week has centred on Offaly’s approach to Sunday’s visit of Antrim. Varying degrees of experimentation have been suggested, some advocating 15 changes be made, everyone getting a run.

It’s not how I’d approach it. A team is not developed by chopping and changing. Rather, a team blends by playing more and more games together. Getting used to each other. Creating an understanding – that when one midfielder roams then the other holds, knowing when the centre-back contests the ball that the wing-back will cover behind.

Looking at the Offaly attack for starters. They played a forward formation that not many others do. This will take time to develop. Having sat out the early part of the league, Dooley and Bergin need more games (the former made his first start against Laois, the latter his second). Cillian Kiely too needs games (Laois was his first start) and will improve. Somewhat unlucky with his yellow card, he lined up his Laois opponent for a side-on hit, only for the would-be victim to anticipate and sidestep the hit. A nasty pull down on top of the young Kilcormac-Killoughey man’s head too, which led to his withdrawal.

And Colin Egan’s striking needs sharpening, which will only come from playing matches. Shane Kinsella should be restored, to be allowed a chance to stake his claim. Which leaves Oisín Kelly, who is well able to win his own ball. Apparently Antrim play with a sweeper, something Offaly will face against Wexford in May and possibly against Dublin in June too.

A word on Conor Mahon’s influence. Conor Mahon will be one of the key figures in Offaly’s attack later this year. His hit on Enda Rowland was the game’s key moment. A ball the goalkeeper seemed to be in control of, not alone did Mahon’s most perfect side-on hit win a ’65 but it broke Laois psychologically. Laois may have outscored Offaly after that as the contest petered out, but they never looked like staging a winning run.

Eoghan Cahill should be allowed continue to develop in goals. The full-back line should remain intact. Really taken with how Tom Spain has developed. Sunday will be a different challenge, with Antrim playing with a sweeper, so one of the trio will be in a sweeping role in the Offaly defence. Most likely Spain sweeping, Ben Conneely being Offaly’s most efficient man-marker (since marking Chris Bennett in 2016’s Leinster U21 Final). There is the option for Ben to switch outfield with Paddy Delaney going to corner-back too, should Offaly be chasing the game.

David O’Toole will improve as his striking improves. Other hand, Dermot Shortt’s confidence seems to be low after the Limerick sending-of and turnovers against Galway and Laois – but that’s the kind of thing that can be recovered after a couple of games with the club. It would be nice to see Thomas Geraghty continue to support the attack and pick off scores from midfield.

Longer term, Offaly’s All-Ireland will come in Parnell Park in June. That is the day Offaly can preserve their Leinster championship status with a win over Dublin. Now, while Dublin will be overwhelming favourites that day, the belief Offaly will carry from Croke Park in January will, in time, be a valuable commodity.


Antrim. They’ve gone through a few ropey years, eliminated from the Leinster championship, can’t win the Christy Ring, relegated to NHL’s 2A. Club rivalries rife within the county, if not in the squad itself. Still, they should have beaten Galway, left themselves too much to do against Dublin but yet recovered to get level before losing it again. Their team has been relatively settled this year, Aaron Graffin and John Dillon (the latter from Olcan McFetridge's club, Armoy) are permanent in the full-back line where the latter is hurling very well, though the half-back line was completely recast after the Dublin defeat. In the forwards, Neil McManus is in the form of his life and will take watching. Seasoned Antrim observers complain that the team are too light (how untypically Antrim), though it is a mobile team, that the backs are decent but they have no forwards, that they repeatedly made a bags of the short puckout against Limerick and didn’t look comfortable on the ball. Still it's hard not to think of three more passionate Antrim men that Sambo, Gary O'Kane and Dominic McKinlay, all three of whom form the Antrim management.

But then, Offaly hold no fears for Antrim. In six previous NHL visits to Birr, Antrim have left with the win four times. And they’ll always have 1989, the goals, the rampant second half, and the guard of honour - the metaphor for anyone to take a walk through Offaly and that we don’t mind – shur isn’t it great to see the underdogs doing well. And so Antrim will expect to have a sniff here, that Offaly won’t dominate possession, will lack the ruthlessness of a traditional team and will allow Antrim to express themselves.

That Offaly secured their 1B status with a round to spare is a relief. But as regards Sunday, that Offaly don’t really have anything to play for here is a cause for concern. It is quite possible that Offaly will start well, open a lead of perhaps four or five points, lose their grip, allow Antrim to dominate the last 20 minutes. A repeat of the Kerry match in 2016.

For that reason, I would hope Offaly v2018 will look to dictate the game, to be proactive, to win their own puckout, to take scores from distance, to feed Bergin and Dooley with long deliveries, to hook, block, to win scrums. To lay down a marker that Offaly v2018 is not going to roll over. Management can set that tone by selecting a side to continue the revival.
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: The day for rolling over be gone!

Postby LooseCannon » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:40 pm

Plain of the Herbs wrote:Debate this week has centred on Offaly’s approach to Sunday’s visit of Antrim. Varying degrees of experimentation have been suggested, some advocating 15 changes be made, everyone getting a run.

It’s not how I’d approach it. A team is not developed by chopping and changing. Rather, a team blends by playing more and more games together. Getting used to each other. Creating an understanding – that when one midfielder roams then the other holds, knowing when the centre-back contests the ball that the wing-back will cover behind.

Looking at the Offaly attack for starters. They played a forward formation that not many others do. This will take time to develop. Having sat out the early part of the league, Dooley and Bergin need more games (the former made his first start against Laois, the latter his second). Cillian Kiely too needs games (Laois was his first start) and will improve. Somewhat unlucky with his yellow card, he lined up his Laois opponent for a side-on hit, only for the would-be victim to anticipate and sidestep the hit. A nasty pull down on top of the young Kilcormac-Killoughey man’s head too, which led to his withdrawal.

And Colin Egan’s striking needs sharpening, which will only come from playing matches. Shane Kinsella should be restored, to be allowed a chance to stake his claim. Which leaves Oisín Kelly, who is well able to win his own ball. Apparently Antrim play with a sweeper, something Offaly will face against Wexford in May and possibly against Dublin in June too.

A word on Conor Mahon’s influence. Conor Mahon will be one of the key figures in Offaly’s attack later this year. His hit on Enda Rowland was the game’s key moment. A ball the goalkeeper seemed to be in control of, not alone did Mahon’s most perfect side-on hit win a ’65 but it broke Laois psychologically. Laois may have outscored Offaly after that as the contest petered out, but they never looked like staging a winning run.

Eoghan Cahill should be allowed continue to develop in goals. The full-back line should remain intact. Really taken with how Tom Spain has developed. Sunday will be a different challenge, with Antrim playing with a sweeper, so one of the trio will be in a sweeping role in the Offaly defence. Most likely Spain sweeping, Ben Conneely being Offaly’s most efficient man-marker (since marking Chris Bennett in 2016’s Leinster U21 Final). There is the option for Ben to switch outfield with Paddy Delaney going to corner-back too, should Offaly be chasing the game.

David O’Toole will improve as his striking improves. Other hand, Dermot Shortt’s confidence seems to be low after the Limerick sending-of and turnovers against Galway and Laois – but that’s the kind of thing that can be recovered after a couple of games with the club. It would be nice to see Thomas Geraghty continue to support the attack and pick off scores from midfield.

Longer term, Offaly’s All-Ireland will come in Parnell Park in June. That is the day Offaly can preserve their Leinster championship status with a win over Dublin. Now, while Dublin will be overwhelming favourites that day, the belief Offaly will carry from Croke Park in January will, in time, be a valuable commodity.


Antrim. They’ve gone through a few ropey years, eliminated from the Leinster championship, can’t win the Christy Ring, relegated to NHL’s 2A. Club rivalries rife within the county, if not in the squad itself. Still, they should have beaten Galway, left themselves too much to do against Dublin but yet recovered to get level before losing it again. Their team has been relatively settled this year, Aaron Graffin and John Dillon (the latter from Olcan McFetridge's club, Armoy) are permanent in the full-back line where the latter is hurling very well, though the half-back line was completely recast after the Dublin defeat. In the forwards, Neil McManus is in the form of his life and will take watching. Seasoned Antrim observers complain that the team are too light (how untypically Antrim), though it is a mobile team, that the backs are decent but they have no forwards, that they repeatedly made a bags of the short puckout against Limerick and didn’t look comfortable on the ball. Still it's hard not to think of three more passionate Antrim men that Sambo, Gary O'Kane and Dominic McKinlay, all three of whom form the Antrim management.

But then, Offaly hold no fears for Antrim. In six previous NHL visits to Birr, Antrim have left with the win four times. And they’ll always have 1989, the goals, the rampant second half, and the guard of honour - the metaphor for anyone to take a walk through Offaly and that we don’t mind – shur isn’t it great to see the underdogs doing well. And so Antrim will expect to have a sniff here, that Offaly won’t dominate possession, will lack the ruthlessness of a traditional team and will allow Antrim to express themselves.

That Offaly secured their 1B status with a round to spare is a relief. But as regards Sunday, that Offaly don’t really have anything to play for here is a cause for concern. It is quite possible that Offaly will start well, open a lead of perhaps four or five points, lose their grip, allow Antrim to dominate the last 20 minutes. A repeat of the Kerry match in 2016.

For that reason, I would hope Offaly v2018 will look to dictate the game, to be proactive, to win their own puckout, to take scores from distance, to feed Bergin and Dooley with long deliveries, to hook, block, to win scrums. To lay down a marker that Offaly v2018 is not going to roll over. Management can set that tone by selecting a side to continue the revival.


Excellent as always POTH!
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Re: The day for rolling over be gone!

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:14 pm

Appreciate the kind comments, LC. Just trying to figure out hurling, and I know I never will!

Enjoy Sunday.
LooseCannon wrote:Excellent as always POTH!
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:39 pm

Significant that Antrim’s leader in chief, Neil McManus, is unavailable for Sunday and is not included in the 26. Otherwise, the team is along expected lines. Conor Johnson returns to the attack in McManus’s place where he joins Nigel Elliott, Dónal McKInley, Conor McCann and James McNaughton, each of whom have been regular starters in the Saffron attack this year.

Generally, the absence of an inspirational figure like McManus would be the signal for Offaly to ‘doss’ and that Antrim wouldn’t show an interest. However, with the exception of the half-back line (which has seen several changes from match to match), there is a consistency to how Antrim have lined out.

Therefore, Offaly need to grab Sunday’s match by the neck, dominate possession, build a lead and hold on to it. They cannot be found waiting for Antrim to fold by themselves. And a scalp, even Offaly's, would be a timely boost for Antrim heading into a relegation final, probably against Laois, at an Antrim venue and with Neil McManus returned.
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby kingscounty » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:51 pm

Plain of the Herbs wrote:Significant that Antrim’s leader in chief, Neil McManus, is unavailable for Sunday and is not included in the 26. Otherwise, the team is along expected lines. Conor Johnson returns to the attack in McManus’s place where he joins Nigel Elliott, Dónal McKInley, Conor McCann and James McNaughton, each of whom have been regular starters in the Saffron attack this year.

Generally, the absence of an inspirational figure like McManus would be the signal for Offaly to ‘doss’ and that Antrim wouldn’t show an interest. However, with the exception of the half-back line (which has seen several changes from match to match), there is a consistency to how Antrim have lined out.

Therefore, Offaly need to grab Sunday’s match by the neck, dominate possession, build a lead and hold on to it. They cannot be found waiting for Antrim to fold by themselves. And a scalp, even Offaly's, would be a timely boost for Antrim heading into a relegation final, probably against Laois, at an Antrim venue and with Neil McManus returned.

I fancy Laois to take the Dubs
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby frankthetank » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:36 pm

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.
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby SearingDrive » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:55 pm

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.


Fair point Frank. Offaly have a good relationship with Antrim, with Down in football, think 1960/61.Offaly also wear the national colours, a big plus to GAA folk in the 6 counties. There was a lot of petty harassment of GAA players and Nationalists in general in NI from the 1920's to the Good Friday Agreement.
We can see the same mentality in today's stand off regarding the devolved government.

Antrim are not coming down to Birr for a lark, they will hope for a win, and Offaly have to take them seriously. Welcome to all Antrim folk visiting Offaly for the match.
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby bracknaghboy » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:39 pm

SearingDrive wrote:Offaly also wear the national colours


Since when?
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby greenairfield » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:40 pm

St. Brendans Park looks like a pitch in August...should be a great game.

I hope we get the win but I think we will be up against if we go with our second team.

Personallly I don't think the result matters as we need to see all these players on the panel so we have a pick come championship.
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby kingscounty » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:05 am

greenairfield wrote:St. Brendans Park looks like a pitch in August...should be a great game.

I hope we get the win but I think we will be up against if we go with our second team.

Personallly I don't think the result matters as we need to see all these players on the panel so we have a pick come championship.

With the weather we are having over the last few years a pitch in August could look like anything, just joking great to see a county game back in Birr. All the best to everyone involved unfortunately work will stop me making the journey .
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby LooseCannon » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:11 am

Kevin Martin and his Management Team have announced the Offaly panel to line out against Antrim in Sunday's Round 5 Allianz National Hurling League Clash in St Brendan's Park, Birr at 2.30pm

1. Conor Slevin (Kilcormac/Killoughey)
2. Paddy Rigney (Kinnitty)
3. Dermot Shortt (St Rynagh's)
4. Tom Spain (Brosna Gaels)
5. David King (Coolderry)
6. Dan Doughan (Shinrone)
7. Jordan Quinn (Kilcormac/Killoughey)
8. Damien Egan (Belmont)
9. Shane Kinsella (Kinnitty)
10.Peter Geraghty (Kilcormac/Killoughey)
11. Cillian Kiely (Kilcormac/Killoughey)
12. Ciaran Cleary (Shinrone)
13. Liam Langton (Clodiagh Gaels)
14. Joe Bergin (Seir Kieran)
15. James Gorman (Kilcormac/Killoughey)

16. Eoghan Cahill (Birr)
17. Ronan Hughes (St Rynagh's)
18. Colm Gath (Drumcullen)
19. Shane Dooley (Tullamore)
20. Paddy Delaney (Kinnitty)
21. Pat Camon (St Rynagh's)
22. Tommy Geraghty (Kilcormac/Killoughey)
23. Sean Ryan (Birr)
24. Conor Mahon (Kilcormac/Killoughey)
25. David O'Toole (Shamrocks)
26. Derek Molloy (Shamrocks)

Good to see P Geraghty get a start, similarly Gorman.
Will be interesting to see how Egan goes at midfield, the position that he primarily occupies with his club.
Ronan Hughes should get game time at some time, which is a positive.
Fantastic to see Seán Ryan back, also Derek Molloy.

Looking forward to the game.
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby SearingDrive » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:29 pm

LooseCannon wrote:Kevin Martin and his Management Team have announced the Offaly panel to line out against Antrim in Sunday's Round 5 Allianz National Hurling League Clash in St Brendan's Park, Birr at 2.30pm

1. Conor Slevin (Kilcormac/Killoughey)
2. Paddy Rigney (Kinnitty)
3. Dermot Shortt (St Rynagh's)
4. Tom Spain (Brosna Gaels)
5. David King (Coolderry)
6. Dan Doughan (Shinrone)
7. Jordan Quinn (Kilcormac/Killoughey)
8. Damien Egan (Belmont)
9. Shane Kinsella (Kinnitty)
10.Peter Geraghty (Kilcormac/Killoughey)
11. Cillian Kiely (Kilcormac/Killoughey)
12. Ciaran Cleary (Shinrone)
13. Liam Langton (Clodiagh Gaels)
14. Joe Bergin (Seir Kieran)
15. James Gorman (Kilcormac/Killoughey)

16. Eoghan Cahill (Birr)
17. Ronan Hughes (St Rynagh's)
18. Colm Gath (Drumcullen)
19. Shane Dooley (Tullamore)
20. Paddy Delaney (Kinnitty)
21. Pat Camon (St Rynagh's)
22. Tommy Geraghty (Kilcormac/Killoughey)
23. Sean Ryan (Birr)
24. Conor Mahon (Kilcormac/Killoughey)
25. David O'Toole (Shamrocks)
26. Derek Molloy (Shamrocks)

Good to see P Geraghty get a start, similarly Gorman.
Will be interesting to see how Egan goes at midfield, the position that he primarily occupies with his club.
Ronan Hughes should get game time at some time, which is a positive.
Fantastic to see Seán Ryan back, also Derek Molloy.

Looking forward to the game.

Nice to see Liam Langton start for Offaly. A very skilful player, who can take a score.
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Re: 2018 NHL

Postby SearingDrive » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:30 pm

bracknaghboy wrote:
SearingDrive wrote:Offaly also wear the national colours


Since when?

Look it up.
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