The weekend’s action

Munster Final penalty

Photo: Irish Independent/Sportsfile

It’s a wet and rather dreary Monday morning but, leaving our minor travails aside, it’s been an interesting weekend on the football front, in particular yesterday’s Munster final which saw the first heavyweight head-to-head clash of this year’s championship.

I’ll come back to that in a minute but first Roscommon are worthy of a mention. After safely negotiating their way through a tricky enough tie away to Cavan on Saturday evening, the Rossies are on the road again the weekend after next as this morning they were drawn away to Fermanagh in Round 3A.

Home advantage will make their job up in Brewster Park that bit harder and the Ernesiders, who were promoted to Division Two of the NFL in the spring, will be no pushovers. All of that ridiculously stupid big talk from John Evans aside, however, you’d have to think that Roscommon have the greater pedigree to push on from here and take a step closer to an All-Ireland quarter-final place.

Onto yesterday’s enthralling Munster final at Killarney, the first clash between two top-six counties in this year’s championship.  Fair play to Cork, I certainly didn’t think they had that much fight in them but they proved beyond doubt that they had, first when roaring back into the match after the break and then again with less than ten minutes to go when Kerry had wrestled their way back into the lead and looked set to close out the expected win.

The day’s major talking point was, of course, the decision to award Kerry a penalty midway through the second half at a crucial juncture when Cork were three points up and really flying. Without doubt, the decision by ref Padraig Hughes – who, this howler aside, did well in often difficult conditions – had a huge bearing on the game’s outcome and most likely cost Cork what would have been a deserved victory.

What was striking to me, though, was that most if not all of the post-match talk about the penalty focused on the ref and not on James O’Donoghue, whose blatant cheating led to the penalty award. We know to our cost from Limerick last year just how good O’Donoghue is at conning refs – neither of the two penalties he won that day were valid ones either – and with another example under his belt from yesterday the current POTY is now a serial offender in this area.

It’s depressing that a player as talented as O’Donoghue stoops to this kind of stuff with such regularity. It’s also surely time that he was called out over something that is, sadly, becoming an increasing trait within the game. The way that soccer has descended into such a joke – where the ability to cheat effectively is now a core skill of the game – should serve as a warning about where Gaelic football could well be heading. Making an example of the tactics being repeatedly employed by the game’s current poster boy would surely be an appropriate way to help in halting this trend.

70 thoughts on “The weekend’s action

  1. The extra game will stand both teams in good stead unfortunately for the rest. You

    can`t buy practice like that this time of year.

  2. Agree with pretty much everything there WJ Thought munster final was great game coming on back of good Westmeath v meath and Sligo v Ross previous week so football is not all bad. Thought ref in munster final was good but made big error for penalty similar to our friend in limerick last year Would expect Ross to progress in qualifiers as that A section seems by far the weaker of the 2 qualifier sections. Any idea when Conn final tickets go on sale. The fact that Ross did not make minor final should ease the ticket situation a bit as Galway supporters wont travel in any great numbers to the Hyde

  3. No doubt Kerry will go on to win a Munster title they do not deserve. Just like they went on to Win Sam last year when they did not deserve it.. If only Mayo could get a stroke of luck like that at the right time this year..

  4. Can someone explain to me why Galway have not featured yet in the qualifier draws. I know there is a reason, but I don’t know what it is.

  5. To win just once – from what I know, tickets will go on sale this week. The normal announcement on ticketing details for season ticket holders and everyone else should, I guess, be made inside the next day or so.

    Grainne – Galway have been in the qualifier pot already: they’re in the ‘B’ side of the draw and have a tough Round 3B tie away to Armagh next weekend.

  6. I thought it was a foul WJ but not one I’d ever see a ref give. The foul is committed when ODonoghue is on the ground with the defender and he impedes his ability to get up.

  7. Doesn’t everybody know that if a Kerryman falls down in the opposition square it’s a penalty. Often he doesn’t need to fall down, just not get the possession he, being a Kerry player, deserves.

  8. Sorry Willie Joe – does anyone what the story of that bloody challenge match is? There’s two wildly different reports going around, both from this blog.
    Does anyone know for definite what happened?!

  9. Kieran Donaghy must be immune to the Black Card….always mouthing at the ref about decisions. I know he is a big man but Id love to see him flattened before this championship is over.

  10. With respect to all the main thing that Cork should be focusing on is, not the penalty, but their failure to close it out. They were one up in injury time and awarded a 45. How good does that get? And what do they do? Hit is straight away, low into the Kerry backs. Thank you very much, now lets set up one final attack to get a point back.

    That is the real killer, not the penalty; teams are now trained, prepped, encouraged with all sorts of psychological armoury to overcome the slings and arrows of bad decisions, sendings off, injuries etc. Cork did overcome all that including a black card for Kerrigan, and then fluffed it at the death.

  11. Kerry opened up for three goals, the last of them straight down the middle. Will be very interesting indeed to see if anything like that happens again on Saturday 18th.

    What James O’D is at is just another example of winning by any means necessary, which is Kerry’s real tradition. If refs don’t have the bottle to punish them for it, Kerry are going to do it. That’s playing the ref, seeing what they can get away with. Nobody does it better and we have much to learn from them.

  12. Kerry always get the dubious decisions.Big successful counties do and it is annoying.Also annoying is Brollys and others failure to say I hot it wrong.McStay was less than definite anout penalty award or anything else either.That was disappointing.Of course Fitzmaurice was toying with the opposition by deliberately putting out wrong team…no Geaney Murphy Maher never mind Cooper.Bet they will all be back.
    I thought that Sheehan was lucky to stay on the field and it is outrageous replay is in Killarney.Could Cork not have negotiated Limerick or is it Kerry get what they want…again.
    Finally is it cyberbullying anymore to have a view on something.Maybe it is only ok if like Brolly you insult someone from the studio.

  13. Hi, Ljstened to Match. on Newstalk with ananlysis from James Horan. His football philosophy shone through as well.
    At the start hd spoke how Kerry would need to ‘UP’ this year to keep. up with the proving Dublin, Donegal, Mayo. Hence the Kerry changes.
    Then during the game he commented on how Cork had dropped the Sweeper in 2nd half and went man to man(KERRIGAN was BlackCarded after 20mins had been playing that role) . His liking for man to man is Horan’s preference. It allows one to IMPOSE oneself on the opposition. He says Kerry adapt to circumstances. CORK were better man to man.
    It is just not a case of Mayo tighteninng up the goal threats as per McGuiness and Brolly. Apart from that he expects Kerry to edge the replay. Hope not would like to see Dub v Kerry Quarter Final and Mayo v Monaghan or better!

  14. Disagree with the O’Donoghue “cheating” theme. He dives and exaggerates challenges no doubt about it, but I consider that taking advantage of weak officiating, and it’s working. Historically GAA refs aren’t weak (no comment on linesmen or umpires!) or afraid to make tough calls but they’re struggling with the likes of O’Donoghue and, dare I say it, Aidan O’Shea who are both well able to exaggerate a challenge.

    Anyone else here convinced Fitzgerald’s equalizer was a miss-hit pass?

  15. Ah here, GBXI, mentioning O’Donoghue and Aido in the same breath about frees isn’t on! The Kerryman only has to be looked crooked at and he’ll get a free whereas more often than not our man can’t buy one no matter how many times he’s fouled.

  16. Connolly’s Brigde – I don’t know what the story is with the timing of Barry Solan’s departure. The Arsenal appointment was, I know, announced on Midwest earlier today but I’ve no idea when he starts over there. A huge loss whenever he goes so hopefully it isn’t straight away.

  17. Thanks for that correction, Ger, which you are of course right about. I’ve deleted the paragraph in question from the piece as the point I was making in it is now redundant.

  18. Ya, JO’D is definitely worse and that was no way a pen yesterday nor the farcical dive after he hit fresh air beside Caff last year but the point is I don’t have a problem with it tho WJ, the problem is the referees making the wrong decision.

    I’m pretty sure Mayo and Sligo are on the B side of the qualifier draw, which is the tougher side. And the Rossies are out next Saturday, the 11th, at 3.30.

  19. Would have thought the majority of Barry solans work is already done at this stage of the year. Conditioning would have started last winter.

    Kerry weak in midfield besides Moran. Maher wouldnt even get a squad place in any other top team. Sheehan good from frees and in possession but no match for the top midfielders in terms of ball winning. To be honest it was hard to pick out a standout player on that kerry team yesterday. Corks Barry o Driscoll was outstanding I thought, along with Alan o connor. Replay should be tight again, I think cork have a real chance next time.

  20. No worries Willie Joe. Certainly those on the A side are getting an easier run of it this year. The B side is shark infested.

  21. Regards the Munster replay being in Killarney I have no doubt that it is with Cork’s agreement. One one hand it is Cork saying we’ll take ye on anywhere. On the other hand I have no doubt that Kerry will be travelling to the new Pairc Úi Caoimh twice in compensation, probably three times because next years Munster Final will also be in Killarney unless Tipp upset the applecart. Will the new Pairc Ui Caoimh be open by summer 2017?
    The idea of even Kerry pulling a fast one over Cork’s Frank Murphy is way beyond imagination.

  22. Interesting to read that Michael Conroy and Evan Regan both played for their clubs at the weekend. Regan scoring 1-2 and Conroy 0-8 in a great display by the border men. Good news for the Mayo setup.

  23. More on that Barry Solan appointment here. Note, though, that this story is sourced back to the same Midwest report and doesn’t really add anything about when he’s leaving the Mayo GAA set-up.

  24. On the radio yesterday, Jack O’Shea said that there was an agreement between Cork and Kerry earlier this year that, if required, a replay would be in Killarney.

    As AndyD suggested earlier, Cork’s Frank Murphy is well versed in the intricacies of such deliberations and any suggestions of Kerry wool being pulled over Cork eyes would be well wide of the mark.

    As for O’Donoghue, Hughes and the penalty, I do think that there are a number of golden boys who always get far more of the 50/50 decisions than other mere mortals. They themselves know this and, as a consequence, go down much easier. Regrettably, until refs pull up the play and consult with other officials before making such crucial decisions, it will keep happening.

  25. That story, Willie Joe, seems to be from an Arsenal blog and says he begins when the GAA season ends. Which seems to be good news. And good luck to Barry, he seems to have a lot of credentials and qualifications under his belt.

  26. It would seem from that blog, that Solan will join at the end of his seasonal stint with Mayo. Would seem to be a Jim McGuinness type arrangement.

    He will be a loss, but would feel that it won’t have immediate impact.

  27. I can see that, Andy – it’s actually an Irish-based Arsenal blog and related news site. The reason I said it didn’t add anything to the timing issue was the “is expected” bit, which is probably correct but isn’t official confirmation of what’s happening. The loss to Mayo GAA aside, it sounds like a big break for Barry himself in the S&C world so the best of luck to him.

  28. The problem, though, with focusing all the blame on the ref and none on players who dive is that it gives the latter free reign to continue doing so, knowing that refs can and will make mistakes when faced with incidents that look like fouls but aren’t. Again I’d reference soccer which has become an utter joke at this stage, in that it’s a penalty if an attacking player belly-flops in the area and lands on the ‘keeper’s hands (cue bleats of “There was contact, stonewall penalty” from the co-commentator) and ‘simulation’ (i.e. diving and cheating) is only mentioned if the ‘keeper is quick enough to whip his hands back in time so that contact is avoided. What O’Donoghue did yesterday was more or less the same – Collins was first to the ball, JOD comes diving in and as soon as there’s contact he’s there with the arms out screaming for the penalty. The reason I zeroed in on him in the piece is because of his bad rep in this area – that’s three penalties he’s conned refs to give Kerry in two of the last three championship games and he’ll keep doing this unless and until it he gets named and shamed properly on the issue.

  29. Prior to last year’s semi v Kerry the indo picked the best of mayo/kerry. It worked out at 9 mayo, 6 Kerry. From what I saw Sunday nothing would change that breakdown. Kerry backs are poor. They rely on their reputation, negative tactics, badgering the ref at every opportunity and luck. Somewhere along the line this year their luck will run out and they’ll get a right hiding. Hope it’s Mayo dishing it out!

  30. Think Kerry are being talked down a bit too much here. It’s their first serious game of the year. We didn’t pull up any trees against Galway ourselves lads.

  31. This is typical Kerry. You gotta get em early. TheyL prob win the replay

  32. Kerry did get a hang penalty in fairness would love to see a mayo Kerry quarter final

  33. Are we sure Hughes gave it for the initial contact. I thought initial contact was just two players going for the same ball. After that Collins grabs ODonoghue leg to prevent him getting up.
    Result was not suprising, Cork have more speed than Kerry in the middle eight. It was key to the league win. Feel they need to bring on Donnacha OConnor on 35 mins he wilted badly. If Cork can just go earlier and more direct at them. Kerrys middle eight n backs rely heavily on black cards n yellow card incidents to contain the opposition counter attack.

  34. I agree with the comments about O’Donoghue’s diving not being highlighted. If it was Aidan O’Shea, he certainly wouldn’t get the decision, and the media would be screaming about the diving (remember Brolly on Vaughan in the 2012 league final).

    Who knows, maybe Kerry would have been better off losing yesterday’s game. The replay still means they have to play one more game to get to quarters. The same applies to Cork of course, however, they need to win the Munster final more than Kerry do and I think they’ll prevail the next day. I think Kerry won’t be too enthused about another dog-fight with Cork, despite the usual commentary such as “the game will only bring them on….they need the challenge this time of year”. I’m not so sure it will work out like that on evidence of what I saw yesterday. Despite the plaudits Fitzmaurice gets, I didn’t see much method to what Kerry did last year, certainly not of the footballing kind. It’s possible that their luck just may be time-limited.

    That’s interesting news regarding Barry Solan. I hope he sees out the season with Mayo. Surely this goes to show that he is excellent at what he does and it can only bode well for us.

  35. I seen this on the Hogan Stand Articles: Mayo fine-tuned their preparations for the Connacht final by defeating Leinster finalists Westmeath in a behind-closed-doors challenge match in Castlebar yesterday.

    I also seen on there that the Mayo Minors 17 point defeat was the biggest defeat ever for our Minor team in Connaht, the previous worst was 8 points. Has our County Board put all of their eggs in the one basket, putting most of their resources into the Senior team and paying off debt. The most worrying part is the margin of the defeats of some of our underage teams in the last couple of years.

    In relation to Kerry, I heard someone say that Kerry play their best football in Aug/Sept rather than in June/July. They must have great team spirit anyway as they never give up and play right until the end of the game as we seen in our drawn game against them last year.

  36. I wouldn’t pay the slightest heed to a challenge game result at this time of year. These games are for trying things out in a game that were practiced in training and for giving fringe lads some game time to get them up to speed.

    I would think that sorting such things out matter an awful lot more than either the score or the result.

  37. There had been some conflicting information about our challenge match against Westmeath, I came across an article confirming that we had won the game. I was making this information available, thats all I was doing, not commenting on the merits or the demerits of the game itself.

  38. I think O Donoghue should be ashamed of himself but he wont be.Kerry will see him as a cute goor and clap him on the back.
    I think Mayo need to set about Sligo with intent …they should have enough but how they set out will be important.Definitely would like to see more of Romaldson.
    Also surely theres a lesson for Mayo in the way Donaghy was played yesterday.Sure he got flukey goal but nothing else.Mayo will be ready surely next time.

  39. Liberal – both teams will have been desperate not to lose yesterday, thus avoiding a quarter final against dublin. The later in the season you play dublin the better chance of catching them on the hop. Same applies for us.

  40. JR you are spot on, he was surviving off miss kicked attempts to convert scores and still did a lot more damege than people think.

    To be fair I think the headline article is a little unfair WJ, show me a forward on the intercounty scene that is involved in critical contact with a defender in the oppositions square that wont raise his hands in a situation like yesterday and I will show you someone who is a fool and ultimately someone that doesn’t exist in Mayo, Kerry or any place else where players compete at that level.

    There was contact but to be fair I didn’t think it was a peno at the time though looking at it he was without doubt pulled by The Cork player as he fell.
    Last year your own county man McStay categorically stated that the second foul was a penalty and to be fair and honest I thought at the time that the first one was as well. In slow mo you could make arguments but at the pace of that battle Higgins should have never put two hands on him, though the contact was minimal it suggested an illegal tackle, ( in the rule book it was a free though it may be harsh) at the time I said PENO and so did almost every one around me including the Mayo fans.
    There are people saying that Mayo are always on the wrong side of the referee but I think that the Leesiders would have a very very legitimate argument that Mayo got an unhealthy number of dubious calls in last years Qfinal,,, in the first Semi Final do ye HONESTLY think that Kerry got some harsh decisions called against them, Donacha Walsh was fouled blatantly but that’s sport..

    Balance balance balance,,, particularly as you have the reigns. I’m sure you have crossed a few house rules on this one WJ. We all do, but the judge has to be honourable and consistant and that article smells of begrudgery..

    Your fingers are loaded with resentment in relation to Kerry, we play the game and so do Cork, this was a display of Gaelic Football the way it should be played, the way Dublin Mayo, Cork Kerry and thankfully a healthy few more play the game. Dont be so quick to put this type of football through the mincing machine as this is what we want to see between the best teams. Would you prefer to be anasying a slugfest between Donegal and Monaghan as they pull and drag the life out of the spirit of our game.

    You can cherry pick points and make barrister like counter arguments but the way this game was played and the spirit both teams brought to the table was commendable. There is plenty in the modern game that is not commendable but I think anyone watching that game was entertained. Is that not what we want ?.. 2.15 to 3.12 or 0.8 to 0.6 wakey wakey

  41. That’s true, Mac’s left boot, thanks for pointing that out. Will no doubt make for another cracking encounter in a fortnight.

  42. @ Gamechanger10, I think you are the one providing the balance, although I think your points are counter intuitive. The only negative thing about Kerry in the article was that James O’Donoghue (a fantastic footballer) engages in cynical play often, and that this is symptomatic of a wider problem in the game, and you agree by saying that anyone who doesn’t is a fool.

    I can give you balance. If you think Donnachadh Walsh was fouled blatantly, so was Aidan O’Shea. There was no stonewall decisions in the Mayo-Cork game that cost Cork the match, compared to stonewall decisions in the Mayo-Kerry saga last year like Shane Enright not being sent off. I like the way Kerry play football but ye are the most cynical of them all. Ye were very upset when Tyrone managed to out-cynical ye, so ye upped your game in that regard. Ye would have been fools not to try and get away with as much as you can, as you said.

    It’s not resentment againt Kerry, or even individual referees that’s the issue (although it’s handy to frame it that way to blow off steam). The issue of consistency in refereeing falls at the GAA’s door, and they refuse to do anything about it. I’m sure that’s something we can all agree on.

  43. To be fair Gamechange I don’t think WJ was trying to “put this type of football through the mincing machine ” I think he was highlighting the depths that certain players including Kerry players will go to , be it legal or otherwise to win games.
    You can’t deny that Kerry always get the edge when it comes to risky decisions.
    By the way I do agree that it was by far the best game of the season so far.

  44. I’m not sure what the penalty was awarded for. Everyone assumes it was between the clash on O’Donoghue and the cork CB but maybe it was awarded for a challenge on Donaghy by Cadogen up to that? I dunno.

    Anyway w.r.t the ref he obviously thought it was a foul somewhere and awarded the penalty as a result.

    But the big thing I don’t get was that he consulted then with his umpires. Now I understand umpires don’t have the right to overrule the ref but clearly they would have instructed him on their opinion of the incident.

    So it was then up to Hughes to make the decision himself based upon his own view and on the umpires advice. And he continued with his original call. Note he could have overruled himself and given a hop ball. So playing devils advocate I assume that both umpires agreed with him on the call and therefore it was correct.

  45. Gamechanger – the responses from Digits and Green and Red Lily cover most of what I would have said in response myself. I never criticised the game itself – ‘enthralling’ was the adjective I used to describe it – and I agree it was the best game of the year so far (along with the Westmeath/Meath game, though I’d put Kerry/Cork higher as it was between two of the game’s heavyweights in a provincial decider). The core point I was making, and one that I stand over completely, is that James O’Donoghue has rapidly developed a bad reputation as someone who falls over far too easily in the square with the express intention of conning refs to give Kerry penalties. Three times he’s done it now since last August and on all three occasions the penalty awards were highly dubious. To turn your question back on you, show me another forward on the inter-county scene with this type of track record. There isn’t one.

    Legitimising this kind of cheating with statements like “there was contact” takes us right down the road that soccer has gone where the merest touch causes lads to collapse as if they’ve been shot. Thankfully, JOD is still very much the exception but his antics will, of course, be copied and before you know it we’ve got a major cheating problem in the game.

    As for your point about how the game is meant to be played and all that, a topic you’ve been banging on about here for a while now, I’d agree with Digits’ assessment that Kerry are as cynical and streetwise as they come. After the depths Kerry were willing to stoop to in order to win last year’s All-Ireland (BJ Keane kicking the ball of Durcan’s tee being the cherry on that particular cake) I think any notion about Kerry playing the game in the manner of some kind of Corinthian purists is nothing short of laughable.

  46. JPM – I think the consultation with the umpires could have been to see if the ‘foul’ was a black card one, which it clearly wasn’t.

  47. Jim McGuinness’s article makes for great reading again.
    He notes how Cork did a good job of not making their true intentions known during the league before employing a new defensive system on Sunday.
    Of course it got me thinking of our own team and the defensive performance they showed against Donegal during the league, are Mayo going to play this way in the Connacht Final and again should they make it to the quarter finals.

  48. Gamechanger 10

    You make some excellent and valid points but on some points you are clearly wrong.Two wrongs never make a right so alluding to other mistakes does not make the mistake of the penalty valid.I dont think the ref set out to be unfair but it was a bad decision.Cormac Reilly made several bad decisions and you fail to refer to what McStay said on them.
    But lets deal with the question of cynicism.Your county man Tadhg Kennelly has openly admitted that he with premeditation took a player out in an All Ireland to win the game.To my knowledge ye treated him as a hero and the GAA failed to do anything about it never mind the ref. That All Ireland is as tarnished as Lance Armstrongs tour de France medals in my opinion.I base this on what Kennelly said himself.He was a wonderful footballer and I am sad he stooped to that.
    But that was ok in your book or was it?

  49. WJ and others
    The point I am making is that all forwards coming into significant contact with a defender in a potential goal scoring opportunity in the square which results in them hitting the ground I think they will all lift the hands in protest. In the Mayo game last year Higgins who is the best corner back in Ireland should never have put his two hands on him the way he did. It appears that O Donoghue may have lost his balance in the white heat of the situation as he tried to turn for the opportunity to pull the trigger or in fairness these guys are lions and an apparent soft touch from a back of his standard could well put you down and at the time I said a definate peno as I have preciously said. The ref instantly blew the whistle and I would have been a little surprised if O Donoghue ran to him and said ” Jes’ Cormack you got that one wrong I actually fell of my own accord”. The second one resulted in him doing an unavoidable summersault after the contact and the ref blew instantly. In Killarney on Sunday I said at the time “no peno” but in fairness looking at it on slow mo on the TV I’m genuinely not so sure as the Cork player lost his balance and definitely caught JOD and pulled him as he fell, McStay also said he wasn’t just sure if it was or wasn’t a peno.

    (Maybe it was for Cadigan holding Donaghy as he jumped for the ball, nah I suppose not as holding him is quiet ok in every game, I know in Mayo minds this never happens but please have a look at any footage in absolutely any game as the outfield players are about to hit him with a high ball. Before ye all call him every insulting game in the book have a quick look at any of the games he has played in since 2006)

    Aidan O Shea is an animal and he uses this physical strength to bulldoze his way through the opposing team he plays against, is he fouled by Christ he is. I think the refs actually allow him to horse through them and in truth the Mayo team are probably better off as if a lot of those fouls were called when he is in your own side of the pitch it would slow down your attack as he is genuinely a nightmare to deal with. One thing that bothers me is that the refs do not raise the hand to indicate an advantage for him and see if he manages to smash through the panicked fruitless effort to stop him, now lads lets be honest here and acknowledge that he is a good man for throwing the arms in the air himself as soon as he hits Cillian O Connor territory. This won’t go down well in the homeland but I fail to see how a horse of a man can crash through the castle wall in defence but trip over a bundle of unspun wool in the right zone of the attack. Now before you all plan on a trip to Kerry with burning torches I thing he is a fantastic player and I am being flippant in relation to the wool reference so take it as it is meant, all teams are waking up to the rules and their frailties.

    Ye have referenced the cynical play of the Kerry team but in fairness we marched on Croke Park in the last decade and were torched on a few occasions where we felt that the Marquess Of Queensbury rules were not in evidence. The people questioned this new attitude and the general consensus was that it was not quiet what we wanted but it was marginally within the rules. We played on and learned to our cost that the old traditions of the game were becoming blurred and we bloody learned that if this is what it takes then we will have to abandon the one on one and stop making it easy for an opposing team by handing them the ball after the ref calls a free and allowing them to kick it over your head to an unmarked player and the inevitable score.

    This is Championship Football and it is hard fast and only the very best and most adaptable will survive. If Mayo brought any of the terrible and unspeakable attitude that Kerry walked onto the playing fields of Croke Park of Limerick last year and won Sam then every pull drag and foul would be described as “not pretty but fair play to him as it stopped a definate score” yes or no ??.

    WJ I personally and most Kerry supporters did not like that stupid act by BJK, he might say we needed time to organise before the kick out but that was a stupid and dishonourable thing to do and it was received badly here in Kerry.

    In relation to Kenelly he took a phone call from his writer in the small hours of the morning after the All Ireland Final and was encouraged to make an inflammatory remark relating to the tackle to get the kind of headlines that result in debate and ultimately result in headlines and sales !! He subsequently said it was the worst time of his life other than the death of his father when that book came out. The reason was Kerry football supporters response to such a stupid statement, it did not have the desired effect and if he and indeed his publicist had another run at that article it would read very differently I can assure you. Drunk men should not listen to greedy men.

    Nothing is perfect and I quickly forget the trickery of my opponents when we win but it strangely lingers long in the memory when we lose, that’s human nature I suppose !!

  50. Having read that post I must add I am trying to be balanced and not inflammatory in case some posters think I am trying to be arrogant or disrespectful to the traditions of a Mayo football. Mayo are a seriously organised team and I have huge respect and admoration for them. I am offering an opinion and while it will gall some it will resonate with others… Discussion is the centre of the potters bowl, what is shaped depends on the mood..

  51. Interesting post Gamechanger. Personally speaking I have been watching club football in Kerry for a while now. Probably the past 10 years or so for one reason or another. One thing I noticed (and don’t take this the wrong way now) but good/great players in Kerry are targeted when playing at club level.

    Slightly late shoulders coming in etc which if had made contact would break a fellas jaw. Of course they were made by fellas whom Dara O’Sé would call “awkward challenges”

    The point is that after seeing that for so many years I am more than a little aggreived when the likes of Spillane and a lot of the Kerry guys in the national media seem to portray Kerry as paying some kind of beautiful game that does not have any level of cynical level associated with it.


  52. …Mousepad on laptop too sensitive.
    To finish what I was saying I think that Kerry are every bit as cynical and will take every little opportunity offered to them. But so will (or should) everyone else.

    In that sense blaming James O’Donoghue for falling over rather easily is I think a little unfair as I would expect Cillian or Brogan or McBrearty to go down as well.

    I think WJs point was that Maybe JOD is currently the best at it ?

  53. The point made by WJ that diving will become the norm in Football, as it is in soccer, is very valid, but it may be too late. Cheating of all sorts is evident each weekend of the championship. Time wasting by starting rows or not returning the ball is also a form of cheating.

    The panellists, who believe they played when the game was more manly, should remember that punching off the ball was not exactly honourable. Putting it in your book will always be frowned on though.

    The fact that Kerry are better at it than most is more reason for us to emulate them if we want to win an All Ireland.

  54. That’s the point exactly, JPM. O’Donoghue has three dubious penalties racked up in two of the last three big championship games Kerry have played. While it’s all well and good to say that the likes of Bernard Brogan or Paddy McBrearty or Cillian or whoever would do the same, no other forward has any track record of the dubious kind that JOD now has.

  55. WJ that’s simply a time issue, I won’t shirk from my point that if any Mayo forward found themselves in exactly the same situation would there be the same exchange if views today,, I think you are dreaming of the Isle Of Inisfree.

    This is a great forum but diverse opinion must be at least be examined and given due contemplation before their is a rush to rebut the blog and hammer it with retrospective video evidence and notions of the purist “Mayo would never do that” maybe they are just a few steps behind as they have travelled quiete a distance down that road already and I am nor criticising them just acknowledging that in the absence of the appropriate arbitrator top teams will see how far they can get,, remember when you were sixteen !!

    Slightly different context but I’m sure you catch my drift !,

    Jes’ here come the purists and the I have not sinned !

  56. The difference is the tense being used – if and would in the cases of others, concrete examples in the case of JOD. What odds we’ll see more diving in the square from him before the summer’s out? Short, I’d imagine. Will we see the same theatrics (specifically aimed at winning penalties, which is JOD’s speciality) from other top-class forwards? Maybe but the odds on this happening would I reckon be a bit longer.

  57. you don’t see cillian or brogan at that in fairness they don’t go down as easily as Jod he gets a lot of handy call you saw last year against Mayo

  58. WJ there are four top teams, if we prevail against Cork we will be in the mix but I find it hard to say we will reach the final, Mayo or donegal will cause us major problems i think. the Dubs in the final if all goes as appears to be expected ,,, they wont worry me as moch as thebother toe ,, we agree to differ and we will leave it at thet,, good luck in the CF

  59. Gamechange, Mayo aren’t in your half of the draw, unless either of us lose our respective provincial finals.

  60. Yeah I know, but at this juncture more or less any possibility is still on the table without the Provincial Final games having been played. Dublin will win, Mayo should win and donegal and Kerry should have the advantage but an upset is more likely between these two in their games I would suggest.

  61. Gamechanger 10
    I am disappointed with your response.Trying to blame a journalist for Kennelly taking out a man in the most cynical way possible is frankly silly.The whole country saw what he did and he admitted it was planned.So your defence is he should bot have admitted it .That is cynical.
    Yes other footballers try and kid referees but they dont get the return that Kerry do.At least Fitzmaurice agreed it was soft ..a euphemism for it not being a penalty.
    I am sorry but anyone trying to defend Cormac Reilly needs to watch the game again.He was not even capable of having dubious frees taken from the correct place.
    Kerry have given us great footballers of which O Donohhue is one.Does he need to do this kind of stuff and does it do Kerry people any favours to support him when he does?
    I am afraid you need to think ot out again with balance.

  62. If somebody says Mayo [and other teams] should adopt Kerry tactics of fooling & intimidating referees to win frees/penalties or have opponents booked/sent off there is no point complaining about Kerry doing it in the first place. You are accepting it as legitimate tactics and just complaining that Kerry are best at it. It’s like complaining about Kerry kicking long range points if your team don’t have that skill. As far as I am concerned it is not sport and should be acknowledged as such. Probably the rules need tightening for diving and simulation and perhaps a commissioner should be appointed to look at all videos post game to stamp it out.

  63. It happened as I have described above I guarantee you. Nobody can arrange a set of circumstances that would unfold to allow a player to deliver his pre planded plot to clatter another player in the jaw like that. Trust me when I tell you he rolled with a suggestion from another party and agreed to allow the contravercial version go to print it for the sake of his book, and boy did he regret it and indeed his whole family suffered terribly as a result.

    In a word I don’t think it’s realistic to suggest a player can plan an incident like that and nobody would have taken much notice of it without that book, if you remember whe prearticles selected for release to the papers contained this incident. A badly timed tackle on the field destroyed his reputation when he chose to sensationalise it for his book.

    There are plenty of bodies within the GAA to retrospectively examine matches and I would say that Kerry have suffered more than most, an unhealthy percentage of players are freed to play in games when they appeal red card decisions where they were playing Kerry (on technicalities before the diving boards bend

    When the neutral analysists point out unusual anomalies in a game regarding refs or players it makes total sense when your team is not playing and you generally agree but when your own team is playing we tend to disagree,,, there is a reason for that and it’s called rose tinted glasses.
    I think we are all guilty of that in fairness, AandyD Mayo have been criticised for over the top tackling over the past few years and there has been a very harse response from the Mayo supporters to those that suggested their holy cows could involve themselves in anything unsavoury.
    Kerry always add change to the teams approach when they are beaten, they learn fast and chance tac to nullify the strengths of the opposition. When we play a team like Cork Dublin or Mayo we play for the most part fast open football like last Sunday. When we played donegal in 2012 we believed we could beat them with natural talent but we failed. Lessons were learned and we knew we would have to change things to stop their game plan, we did.
    Saturday week we will see what Kerry change in their game plan to beat cork. I would say they will return Maher and Moran to the midfield spot, they will probably replace F Fitzgerald with P Murphy and Aidan O Mahoney will have a say in matters at some stage, Sheehan will probably line out in the half forward line with Walsh and either M Geaney or Gooch. They might also drop Donaghy and replace him with Paul Geaney and either Gooch and JOD or BJK but they will not simply sound the bugle and signal the attack again. They will catch the enemy and use the previous game to learn, that is what the best teams do, Cork will change too but I think they may have missed their opportunity,, sport is beyond absolute prediction and that is what makes so wonderful. Can’t wait till the 18th and the weeks that follow. Good luck to youall

  64. Gamechanger
    He simply decided to hit someone in the jaw and lay down a marker.How much pre planning does it take to do that?
    if indeed it happened as you say then that is even more cynical not to mention dishonest ..a charge I would not like to make.
    Anyway we are not going to agree so lets leave it there. Best of luck on Saturday week.I agree Cork have probably lost their chance.

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