Tyrone steal march on everyone with their miracle cures
Just when you thought Gaelic football was beginning to redeem itself with some entertaining games and fine individual performances, along came Monaghan and Tyrone to confuse supporters and drag opinions down again.
What we witnessed on Saturday evening highlighted a lot that is wrong with the modern game. We are used to the negative tactics and blanket defences and it can sometimes (but rarely) be intriguing to watch teams break down defences with moments of individual brilliance.
On Saturday I watched a game while feeling embarrassed by the behaviour of some of the most talented players in the country. Diving, feigning injury, intimidating opponents and harassing the referee were just some of the negative aspects on display in one of the showpiece games of the year.
Unless I am underestimating the power in some of the tackles, players blatantly dived and exaggerated the extent of the injury. Maybe I am wrong and the medical squads, particularly Tyrone's, are way ahead of the rest of the country with their instant cures.
Players that received seemingly knockout blows were back to their full powers of recovery within seconds of the game resuming. Talk about the old-fashioned magic sponge!
Maybe they have a secret they should share with other counties and other sports about injury cures; they could make a fortune.
The most talked about and highlighted incident was the theatrical dive by Tiernan McCann after having his hair ruffled by Darren Hughes.
Now people may criticise him for this but do they realise the cost of a good stylist and hair care products to maintain the shape and balance of his style?
Afterwards he was rushed to the nearest branch of Peter Marks where he was lovingly restored to his former beauty. The only problem is I'm sure the treatment is not covered by the G.A.A. insurance scheme so I think Club Tyrone will have to make a contribution. However, this seems a small price to pay for a player's recovery to full finesse.
Tyrone have had a bad year on the P.R. front with the sledging allegations that followed their Under-21 All Ireland win and accusations against their Minor team also. They may not care or deny the allegations but it is a pity that a county renowned for such tremendous footballing talent is now becoming more famous for unacceptable behaviour rather than outstanding performances.
A few years ago it was refreshing to see northern teams play in the All-Ireland final. Down, Derry, Donegal, Armagh and Tyrone all brought a great playing style and their supporters made the day an even more special occasion.
However, in recent years with the negative tactics on display it's sad to say the final might be a better day without them.
Thankfully the second game on Saturday was easier to watch as Mayo marched into the semi-final against Dublin. The re-shaped side came through their first real test of the summer and hopefully the next match will be one to savour.
On the local front St. Martin's again showed great form against Horeswood and seem to be improving with every game. St. Anne's and Shelmaliers both had unconvincing wins but both teams are struggling with injuries so they will be happy enough to take the points.
Starlights and Gusserane drew in an entertaining game to see both teams qualify, and realistically it seems that the champions will come from one of those five teams.
The championship is still wide open and I expect a few shock results in the quarter-finals.
In Intermediate Glynn-Barntown and Kilanerin are the form teams and look destined to meet in the final, but as has been proven over the years this is the most competitive grade and the toughest one to win so we should be in for some cracking games in the next few weeks.