Big Weekend of GAA games

Moving from Celeb Spotting thread to here:

tinnion, I’ll be in Wexford Park, on the open side, standing against the back wall.

  • Just a point to note for anyone who’s ever coming down to a game here.

Silly people go to the stand in Wexford Park for League games in Winter/Spring. The wind blows right in there and it’s firmly in the shade. Meanwhile, over on the open side you get a bit of hazy Spring sunshine and the big wall blocks out the wind. *

Another thing that annoys me about this time of year is that our footballers are playing a critical game in Cavan at the same time as our hurlers host Down. I would like to be given the opportunity to attend both games but it’s impossible.

Even if we qualify for the hurling quarter finals they’re fixed for next Sunday - the same day as our footballers play Meath in the Park in the last round of games. I know there’s fixture congestion but could they be staggered a bit better? One on Saturday, the other on a Sunday? Dual counties’ league fixtures arranged so they’re home on the same weekend allowing for double headers to be arranged?

Last weekend there was the ridiculous scenario where Offaly hosted Clare in hurling in Birr at 3.30pm. The Offaly footballers were also at home to Clare but it was decided that the pitch in Birr couldn’t handle 2 games on the one day. So the Offaly County Board in their wisdom fixed the football game for 3.30pm in Tullamore! Decisions like that do the GAA no favours at all. In the end after a lot of uproar from supporters the football throw-in was changed to 1pm so people actually had the opportunity of attending both games.

Other huge games all around the country too. Wonder will Dublin be able to raise themselves for their 3rd game in 8 days down in Tipp? Clare/Cork will be good too with the O’Connors returning for Cork and Loughnane takes Galway down to Kilkenny.

Farmer M is going to the Leitrim/Ro-scum-mon (can’t believe that I never saw that before) so I may go with him. That said I am still quite ill :’(

Man these face thingys are flying out of me today

Funny story on the Offaly matches. I remember being at some Connacht club match years ago where the game finished level and nobody, not even the GAA organisers or referee, knew if there was going to be extra time or not. So a few old men in suits and beer bellies went into some room to try and sort it out and decided to announce over the loudspeaker in a monotone voice ‘there will be no extra time’.That was it. Everyone got up from their seats and left.

Actually was there not a similar scenario in a big hurling match a few years ago - Clare and Kilkenny I think? It finished in a draw and Clare’s players stayed thinking there was extra time because they thought it was a back door match eventhough it was the All Ireland semi final!

Yeah, exactly farmer. It was in 2004 afaik. The year we shocked KK and sent them into the back door. Clare had them on the ropes so wanted to play extra time and KK obviously preferred to sort themselves out and come back and win the next day. Which they did.

That was the 2004 quater final. KK won the replay handy. Same year they gave our boys ‘the hammering part 1’ in thurles.

Wexford announce teams for Sunday;

Hurling versus Down, Wexford Park @ 3.30pm:

Fitzhenry (Duffry Rovers);
Travers (Ballyboden St Enda’s); Ruth (Raparees); Roche (Oulart-The Ballagh);
Doran (Buffer’s Alley); Rossiter (Oulart-The Ballagh); Kenny (Buffer’s Alley);
Kavanagh (St Patrick’s Ballyoughter); Lyng (St Martin’s);
M Jacob (Oulart-The Ballagh); Doyle (Glynn-Barntown); McCarthy (St Martin’s);
Lambert (St Martin’s); Stamp (Oulart-The Ballagh); R Jacob (Oulart-The Ballagh);

Interesting selection. Persisting with the experiment of playing Skippy Ruth at full back. Come championship time I expect Doc O’Connor to be back in there with Ruth out on the wing. Young Kevin Kavanagh gets a start in midfield after impressing as a substitute in Cork last weekend. A lot of injuries up front with Quigley, Carley and Banville all hamstrung, last year’s best forward Stephen Doyle still recovering from the broken collarbone he suffered in last year’s county championship and Des Mythen not having returned to the squad yet this season after injury. Michael Doyle comes in to lead the attack, Barry Lambert will be on free-taking duty in the corner and Darren Stamp is at full forward as the search continues to identify someone who can be a focal point for our attack, hold up the ball, and take and make scores.

Football versus Cavan, Breffni Park @ 3.30pm:

Cooper (Adamstown);
Morris (Castletown); Wallace (Gusserane); Malone (Shelmaliers);
Sunderland (Castletown); D Murphy (St Mary’s Rosslare); Morrissey (Kilmacud Crokes);
Colfer (Clongeen); Howlin (Horeswood);
Deely (Horeswood) captain; Barry (St Anne’s Rathangan); Bradley (Adamstown);
Lyng (St Martin’s); Banville (Horeswood); Forde (Kilanerin);

Rory Stafford’s still recovering from injury but should be available to come off the bench if required. We’ve lost Diarmuid Kinsella from the squad now but David Fogarty’s on his way back from injury too. We haven’t played well yet this season and after the shock defeat in Waterford our subsequent 4 victories have all been very workmanlike rather than impressive. We’ll need to play our best football of the year so far to come away from Cavan with a victory against the table toppers.

We were pretty impressive against Down in that even though they were rubbish we maintained our standards right to the end. I made my full debut as a journalist for this game so I might post up my offering later.

Our footballers now have to beat Meath by a minimum of 8 points to get into Division 2 next season after the draw in Cavan yesterday. Meath are currently 2 points ahead of us going into the final game, where we host them, but have a better scoring difference by 14 points. We’ve beaten them in both league and championship in our last 3 meetings but 8 points is a big ask in football when teams don’t often score more than 11 or 12 points themselves. What’s certain is that we’ll need goals.

As an aside, the last time we qualified for the NHL quarter finals was 1996 where we were beaten by Galway! We’re playing them on Sunday too (venue to be announced tomorrow)! After Ger Loughnane took the pi$$ out of Wexford last year saying we should enter the Christy Ring Cup and stop wasting our time playing the big boys I have a real desire for us to give them a hiding - but I’d like to save it for the championship. Sure fook it, we’ll batter them twice this season.

Finally, can’t believe there’s been another high profile disaster re players getting sent off etc. McEntee got 2 yellow cards and stayed on the pitch for Crossmaglen yesterday. Even though Crokes lost by 5 points in the end I think they;re well within their rights to demand another game given that they were level when he was sent off. Should they even be awarded the game? Opinions?

He had good right to have a crack at ye last year, ye were a disgrace. Seem to have improved somewhat this year but I expect Galway to have a little bit too much for them on Sunday.

Report on Wexford-Down up on the front page.

Someone do an article previewing the latter stages of the hurling league and how the games so far bode for the championship.