Well done Ref
Gooch the second
The Monday Morning 'Blues
THE GAP between the end of the national leagues and the start of the championships is always a quite time on the GAA front. Short as it may be it still gives time to reflect on what the leagues revealed and what the championships may have in store.
Casey's hurlers grabbed the headlines by winning the league and that was all we could ask of them.
However, there is work to be done before they take on the real test of championship hurling in the Christy Ring Cup. If Eamonn Kearns is back he will be a welcome addition. But can we really expect to see him reach championship standards in such a short time?
Harry's footballers made a couple of slips in the league but finished well; their two late wins will surely boost confidence as they prepare to take on Laois in Aughrim on May 18.
The emergence of some new players near the end is very welcome; Paul Cunningham definitely improves the options up front and could in time prove to be the answer to a long standing centre forward problem. Surely we are crying out for cover in defence and another Bray Emmets lad, Aaron Murphy, could be a big help.
Casey O'Brien's hurling panel has some promising young players in the pipeline but how many will make the championship grade at this stage is another matter.
A hectic month ahead for both Harry and Casey.
Congratulations to out two leading referees who are making steady progress up the national ladder.Anthony Nolan was the man in the middle for the semifinal of the U-21 All-Ireland Football Championship and did a great job.
John Keenan was the linesman at the NHL semi-final between Clare and Tipperary in Limerick and to really make the day for both - the matches were live on TV.
Garrett Whelan is also making progress with the whistle which prompts the question - do we have more young whistlers out there who could make the grade in this most demanding job?
Did you read that stuff the sports editor dished up last week?
He gets one run at corner forward on the team and expects us to believe he is another 'Gooch' on the way to stardom.
When he gets back in goal (that should read if) then he will be telling us he will soon be another 'Cluxton'. All right he is not pointing the 45s yet but no doubt he will put that down to worn out boots.
A little bird tells us he is saving up for a new pair but that could be a slow process - unless he gets a rise. Meanwhile I have an old pair of 'hobnailers' with steel toe caps - they might fit the bill. Hold on tight to that number one jersey Robert Lambert. “Dear Peter, I refer to yesterday's second half performance by Dublin. I refer also to my expression, in the Corner, last year, of growing concerns about the state of football. This morning, for me, the alarm bells have become deafening.
What we saw yesterday cannot be maintained or contested.
What we saw was a power driven field basketball game of professional club intensity.Thiswasnotinter-countyGaelic football played by amateurs.
In the Corner last summer, I repeatedly questioned whether we are committed to attracting individuals from all socio-economic backgrounds; I asked this because I understand this is a core value of the Association. We cannot have what was on display yesterday and still say we promote this inclusiveness.
Some questions. How do we define football? Do we understand that 'socioeconomic' inclusiveness defines certain parameters within which we must operate? Mise le meas, Gerald Any other comments on that subject?
Where are they now?
Some calls on the 'Ireland' hurling team of two weeks ago that came just late for last week's edition.
One was from Joe Nolan, formerly from Killincarrig, Greystones but now living in Bray.
He was another that remembered the days when an ' Ireland' team in both codes was selected annually but while their matches against teams like the Combined Universities was never a big crowd puller the overall interest in the selection of the teams was on a par with that of any other national team.
He could name most if not all of the players or mentors in the picture.
Another call came from Tullow resident and former Rathvilly footballer, Ned Foley, and he too could name most of the players on the team.
The missing man
At last we got someone to name the missing player on that Ireland team and to fill in other details.
Aidan Donnolly, a Galway man living in Dublin, who, for some reason, reads the Wicklow People and the Corner, rang in to name the player in the front row as Seamus McDonald of Antrim. He played at full forward and scored two goals, he tells us.
He was in good company - two of the all time greats of the game - Christy Ring and Jimmy Smith of Clare were playing in the corner positions.
Other details he supplied were - the year was 1956; the final score was Ireland 4-12; Combined Universities 3-5; Nicky Rackard was playing for the Universities and the Ireland team lined out as follows - Tony Reddan (Tipp), Billy Rackard, Nick O'Donnell, Bobby Rachard; Jim English, Pat Stakelum, Willie Walsh; Jim Morrissey, 'Jobber' McGrath (Westmeath); Jimmy Duggan, Dermot Kelly, Tim Flood; Jimmy Smith, Seamus McDonald, Christy Ring.
We still have not got a name for the official with the cap and glasses first from the left in the back row.
The Paddy O'Reardon story
Some weeks back we had a picture of a Bray VS team with their teacher and coach Paddy O'Reardon. Since he appeared to have Rathvilly/Tullow connections we sent out an SOS for more information.
Johnny Kenny, the great Baltinglass and Wicklow footballer has come to the rescue.
Paddy O'Reardon's father, he tells us, was station master in Baltinglass for a time and later moved to Tullow.
He married Bridie Flynn from Donard so that would leave his son with a number of first cousins in and around west Wicklow. Johnny Kenny's wife Maggie is one of them, Hattie Doyle, Rathdangan and all the Flynn, Kenny and Doyles would also be related.
I am not sure where the Rathvilly connections comes in.
So, as they say - a small world.
Eamonn D'Arcy on Stakelum
The best story of them all on Pat Stakelum came from Eamonn D'Arcy.
He recalls a school in Tipperary running a competition for the best essay on a hurling player.
The winner was a boy from mid Tipp who wrote in praise of Stakelum and Eamonn was so impressed that he is still able to recite it word for word. This is how it went:
“I feel sure that everyone will agree with me when I say that Pat Stakelum mustbeoneofthemostpopularhurlers evertohavetreadahurlingpitch.Letus not forget his sportsmanship and scruples fairness on the field of play.
AllIrelandknowshimasPat,allIreland knows him too as a hurler truly magnificent in the true traditions of his native county, a genuine warm hearted, quite spokenplayer,asgenerousinvictoryas he is glorious in defeat.
For a number of years now Pat has been playing fields of Gaeldom and whereever he played his gentlemanly conduct, no less than his greatness
as a hurler, has won him the hearts and the respect of spectators and players alike.
AsaplayerofstyleandpolishhehasI would say no peers and when at his best, the ease and effectiveness with which he outwits his opponent makes hurling look as simple as the proverbial A.B.C.
Pat's usual position is centre half back and those of us who have seen this great Holycross stalwart in action will never forget his wonderful zeal, his superb coolness and of course his sportsmanship which after all is the main thing in a hurlers prayer”.
While the history books may not be as flattering to Stakelum as Eamon's boy; anyway he was one of the last great experts of the now long forgotten drop
shot or drop puck.
The Boys fron Scoil Changlais
Last week's picture came from the other end of the scale but still brought some replies from the boys involved. It was a team from Scoil Chonglais that had just won the first years' championship and went on to win the junior championship the following year. A number of them were on the last Wicklow Minor team to reach a Leinster final. They included Keith Furlong, Gavin Wynne (not in picture), Anthony Nolan, Eoin McMahon.
First in with the correct answer was Anthony Nolan, the great new referee and now probably the best known man in that picture. “Hi Peter That's Scoil Chonglais first year team. Was on that team myself and could name them all on it. Anthony Nolan” “Hi Peter Is that a Scoil Chonglais team maybe, first year maybe, around 1991/1992. Eoin McMahon holding the ball in the front.
Plentyoffamiliarfacesinit!ThinkKeith Furlong is in it, Niall foley, Thomas Cassells, Johnny Kinsella, Paul Coleman, Padraig McGrath, Anto Nolan, Kieran Byrne.
ThinkJamesByrnefromGrangeconis at the back as well but not 100% sure if it's him. Can't pick out Gavin Wynne but he should be in it we think?? Aoife O'Neill” The reason that Gavin Wynne is not in the picture is that he did his first year in Kilkenny College. He was on the same Scoil Chonglais that won the junior championship the following year. Thanks Aoife
The Boys in the picture as named by Anthony were -
Back Row - l to r - Paul Coleman; John Edwards, Noel Phelan, James Byrne (R.I.P), Mark Walshe, Alan Howard, Keith Furlong, Stephen Donoghue, Raymond Lawler.
Middle Row - Barry John O'Toole, Paul Kelly, Tom Cassells, Edward White, Seamus O'Reilly, Stephen Jones, Padraig McGrath, Richard Dalton.
Front Row - Anthony Nolan, Ciaran Byrne, Niall Foley, J.P. Kinsella, Eoin McMahon, Wayne Moore, Paul Foster, Ray Nolan, Clifford Stynes.
More on Football reform
“Dear Peter, MylatestcopyofTheEconomist,April 12, 2014 has just been delivered. And there on page 62 is more evidence for those of us who maintain that Gaelic football can become a world game if only the opportunity is recognised and taken in a structured way. Despite the article's negative context, it should not be dismissed.
Themainheading:'Thehitskeepcoming' in conjunction with Brain injuries in sport, focus on rugby and soccer. Mention is also made to American football. I mentionedadramaticarticleinTheIrish Mailrecentlyalso.Butworkneedstobe done, I would argue. What will not appeal is a “field basketball game” or a winatallcostsleveloffitnessapproach.
You may have noticed that my questions approach in the submissions of last summer and early autumn were designed,partially,totryingtoelicitcontrasts -such as this medical matter. To have gone straight into a comparative exercise would probably have developed more heat than rational inquiry. Comparisons can be odious.
Further evidence -if more were required-ofnegativefactorssupporting my argument came last weekend in a conversationIhadwithafull-timesports teacher/medical person. The startling fact in this rugby school is that three head injuries occur every week.
However, our rules need further and urgent modification. Keep up the good work!” Gerard Tallon. More food for thought.
Our get well wished this week goes to Gerry Gibbons, A Kilkenny man who played a lot of Hurling for Wicklow and in Wicklow.
He was on a Wicklow team that won a Leinster Junior title in 1965 and won Leinster and All-Ireland medals again in 1971
He played Hurling for three different clubs in Wicklow, Bray Emmets, Kilcoole and Newcastle.
All the many friends he made during his stay in the Garden County wish Gerry a speedy recovery.
The death occurred of Essie Gammell of Main St., Kilcoole at the weekend. Essie was a sister of great referee, Jimmy Hatton, and was a dedicated supporter of football and hurling all her life.
Her two sons both played under age hurling for Wicklow - Deric was on the All-Ireland
under-21 team in 1967 while John played Minor for the county.
Her funeral and burial took place in Kilquade on Good Friday.
Our sympathy to her brothers Jimmy and Danny, her sisters, sons, daughter Antoinette and extended family.
May she rest in peace.
We’re going back a few years here but we’re in familiar surrounds. If you can identify any or all of the men above and what competition they were about to take part in then contact Peter on 087 6907589 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.