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GAA Notes September 3rd 2012

posted Sep 7, 2012, 2:06 PM by Mark Baldwin
Sponsored by Tallow Area Credit Union

Senior Hurling
Fourmilewater 0-22 Tallow 2-7
Despite a strong first half performance, we succumbed to a powerful Fourmilewater second half comeback at Fraher Field last Sunday in the final group game of our senior hurling campaign. We finish the group stages on three points and that is enough to qualify us for a quarter final meeting with Dungarvan. A new championship starts again  now with the undercard out of the way.
     Playing against a fresh breeze we got off to an excellent start, impressive points from play from Paul O Brien and Paul Kearney opening up a two point lead in the first six minutes. Fourmile responded with a point of their own but a wonderful move involving Thomas Ryan and Paul O Brien set up the lively Paul Kearney for a goal on twelve minutes. Fourmilewater got two points of their own to cut the gap to two by the quarter hour. Tallow were hurling well at this stage, moving the ball quickly with Fada towering at fullback, our half back line of Basher, James Murray and Kevin Curley well on top and Thomas Ryan easily beating his man on the wing and delivering quality ball into the two Pauls. It was Thomas Ryan who got our second goal on seventeen minutes from a close range free following a foul on Paul O Brien to restore our four point lead. Fourmilewater hit back with two points of their own and yet again we responded through a superb Shane Feeney point to keep the lead at three points. A Fourmile point brought it back to two again on 23 minutes. Both teams scored two points each towards the end of the first half to leave the half time score at Tallow 2-5 to Fourmilewater 0-9.
    Despite having the wind for the second half, Tallow laboured in the third quarter as the first time ground hurling that was a feature of our first half dried up and Fourmilewater outscored us five points to one with our only white flag coming from a Rob O Sullivan free.Two more points from the Nire men were answered only by another free from Rob and with ten minutes to go there was two in it. Unfortunately that was as close as we got as our tactic of playing a third midfielder with the wind didn't pay dividends and Fourmile scored the last seven points of the game to run out nine point winners.
Team: S O Sullivan, K Kearney, D O Brien, S Mc Carthy, K Curley, J Murray, B Henley, W Curley, S Feeney, R O Sullivan, K Geary, T Ryan, P Kearney, P O Brien, L Mc Carthy. Sub A Pratt for L Mc Carthy.

Championship Format
It must be acknowledged that the frequency and regularity of championship games has improved seriously in the last five years. About six or seven years ago it was common to start training in February, play one match in May and then not play the championship until September. In 2003 the first round wasn't played until late August. However, after watching Ballygunner dismantle Lismore last Saturday night with a team at least fifty per cent better than the one beaten by Ballyduff and Dungarvan, you'd wonder is it fair that there seems to be no consequence for playing poorly in your first four championship games. Both Dungarvan and Fourmilewater have been a breath of fresh air this year but neither team will see a huge benefit from topping their respective groups. Maybe it's time to tweak the format a bit more by putting group winners into the semi finals, second places into a quarter final and leaving the remaining four teams play off for the remaining quarter final places. At least there would be some incentive to finish as high as possible in your group. I acknowledge that the group winners would be left idle for an extended period but the consolation would be that they would be only sixty minutes away from a county final. The other way to go would be a modified knockout format with an open draw and each team getting one backdoor chance. Again a kind draw could allow a Tallow or a Dungarvan or an Abbeyside to go far in the championship and build confidence. Also any team that takes a chance and doesn't take the early rounds seriously would face proper consequences for this.