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GAA Notes 12th March 2012

posted Mar 16, 2012, 2:40 PM by Mark Baldwin
Sponsored by Tallow Area Credit Union

Best of Luck

Best of luck to the Tallow-born First Lieutenant, bred by Mary O Connor, who will run in Michael O Leary's colours in the third race, the RSA Chase, at Cheltenham on Wednesday. Despite his win at last year's Festival, he is a horse who was bought with the bigger obstacles in mind and he has the size of a horse who was born to jump fences. As always, he will face a highly competitive field and despite his slightly indifferent form before Christmas, the expected quick ground and proven Cheltenham from has made the gentlemen of the Turf a bit nervous, as reflected in a pretty parsimonious price. We wish all connected the very best of luck in running.

Deise Draw

Please forward any monies for tickets to our Deise Draw co-ordinators David O Brien and Kate Ryan. Remember that this draw is one of the club's main sources of funding and the chance of a wonderful array of prizes should not be missed

Five Things We Learned At The Weekend

Green Shoots
The first-half performances of Gavin O Brien and Maurice Shanahan have offered us some chinks of light in what has, in truth, been a sobering opening two National League matches. Both showed economy and accuracy of striking and, in Shanahan's case, an ability to break tackles and win frees. When O Brien moved further out in the second half he showed, with very limited supply of ball, an ability and inclination to play the kind of crossfield ball that is your only hope against a defence like the Cats'

Aerial Power
The exhibition of catching by Tommy Walsh and TJ Reid on Sunday was as close to perfection as you can get. Sure, they practice the arts of helmet-tipping and a sly nudge here and there but they can both jump across their marker and hang in the air which makes any attempt to block their jump very difficult. Maybe prospective markers could take a leaf out of Liam Lawlors book and realise that the battle for aerial supremacy begins long before the ball gets there.

Defensive Duties
It's all very well deciding that you're not going to concede goals and placing your centre back in front of your fullback as a shield if your wing backs can win their own ball and are supported by your midfield, as happened in the first half. But if the opposition's midfield and wing forwards start to motor with their centre forward dropping deeper, as happened in the second half, the result is an overrun half-back line and  a variety of very easy points to put daylight between the teams.

On the Up
It seems as if Conor Lehane is not just a one hit wonder. His scoring rate continues to be impressive and his ability in the air from puckouts is a priceless commodity in the modern game.

Once More into The Breach
The man who puts his money down on the basis of 'Galway have to come good at some time' is probably a permanent resident of the poorhouse. Is there any reason to believe that this Galway team is any different? A culling of the large number of underperforming players from last year is a start as is sensible, low-key pronouncements from their manager. A ruthless dispatching of an okay Dublin side and a good performance in Thurles is showing decent if unspectacular form but what they really need is an under the radar and drama free league.