Wednesday 21 August 2019

Our own Ned was first to master 'lift and move'

Hurling analysis

Tom Dempsey

Well folks, it's great to be back after a winter that has imposed three man 'flus on my ever-weakening frame, and as I battle through the latest most weakening form of the virus, I am looking forward to a season which I feel promises much for the Model county.

G.A.A. veterans are particularly susceptible to the illness, particularly in the off-seasons so it will be refreshing to re-focus on all things sporting over the next ten months or so and here's hoping we will have at least as enjoyable a summer as was the case in 2014.

Firstly, many congratulations to Karen Atkinson and her Oulart-The Ballagh charges on their wonderful achievement in bringing home the Bill Carroll Cup for the second time in the club's history with a wonderfully comprehensive performance in the ancient stadium in early March.

We have been very fortunate to live through the greatest chapter of Wexford camogie history and hopefully there is a lot more to come.

The last few weeks have seen the penalty rule change, allowing only one player to man the line for the free puck which in my opinion is not the perfect solution.

Yes, for player safety there was a necessity for the shot to be struck from at least 20 metres, but I feel to offer a reasonable chance to the defence we should have considered two defenders to be the better option.

It will be very interesting to see if referees are slower to issue the ultimate sanction now that a goal should be an almost certainty from the free stroke.

I often smile to myself when Anthony Nash is credited with perfecting the lift and move as for my money Ned Buggy is the one who deserves the copyright here as the first man to perfect the art.

The advantage rule which was also passed is a good departure as is automatic promotion from the Christy Ring to the Liam MacCarthy a fair reward for the successful team.

Our new President, Aogán O Fearghail, has many challenges ahead with player burn-out being possibly the most critical for young and old.

Joe Brolly is right in expressing concern as to where we are going with regard to the levels of commitment expected and the repercussions down the line for players.

There are no simple solutions but maybe it is time to shout stop and take the necessary steps to alleviate the problem. Our sport consists of amateur players playing sport professionally. Something will have to give.

Unfortunately, I couldn't attend Wexford's big Division 1B game in the Park on Sunday and from all accounts it was a top-class game with Wexford extremely unfortunate to lose out.

A couple of freak goals allied to some wayward shooting seems to have sealed our place in the second division for at least one more year.

We must take great consolation, however in our recent-found ability to be able to match and mix with some of the best teams in the country which Limerick undoubtedly are, and barring a disastrous close to the campaign we will make the quarters which will ensure good competitive action as a lead-in to championship.

Given the present league format, Division 1B is not the worst place to be and with form players in our ranks like Lee Chin, Liam Og and Jack Guiney we have the ability to ruffle a few feathers in the weeks ahead.

Finally, Division 1A has become a real minefield with tales of the unexpected the order of the three rounds so far. Dublin, brilliant up to Saturday, Clare without a win since last March and wait for it, the unthinkable, 'no Kilkenny in the knockouts'.

Could it happen? I doubt it, but they do need to get in gear very quickly.

I doubt Brian is losing too much sleep just yet.

Wexford People

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