Notice Board :
Tuesday 23rd April Senior & Junior Training at 8.15pm. New Players always very welcome.
Tuesday 30th April Foundation Coaching Course in Ballylinan GAA Sports Hall starting at 7pm, See News for more info.
Sideline Snippets is www.gaa.ie's sideways look at all things in the world of GAA! Catch it every week on the site throughout the summer.
On your head son!Sideline Snippets has always had an unhealthy interest in sports stars who have crossed codes. So, we couldn’t help but crack a smile when we read in Saturday’s Irish Times about Ireland soccer international Keith Fahey’s short-lived Gaelic football career with Thomas Davis in Tallaght. Fahey, the Birmingham City and former St Patrick’s Athletic midfielder, decided the sport was not for him when, in his very first game, he was penalised for scoring a goal with his head!
It brought to mind a Street League match Sideline Snippets played in somewhere in the mists of time when a friend, who was not quite up to speed with the rules of Gaelic football, wheeled away in delight after scoring what he thought was the winning goal. The goal was disallowed and our shamed friend was quickly substituted for, yip you’ve guessed it, doing his best Alan Shearer impression and heading the ball to the back of the net.
On a similar vein (OK, it’s entirely unrelated but stay with us) Sideline Snippets would like to offer our sympathy to former Tipperary underage hurler Matthew Macklin, who was beaten in a WBA title fight in Germany against the local favourite Felix Sturm on Saturday night. 'He wuz robbed' was the general reaction to the 29-year-old’s split decision defeat, which has already prompted calls for a rematch.
Birmingham-born Macklin’s hurling roots are stronger than you might think, the former Irish, British and European champion, who was born to a Roscommon father and Tipperary mother, having spent much of his youth in the Premier County and represented the county at U14 level. Macklin is a close friend of All-Ireland winning captain Eoin Kelly and still regularly attends Tipperary games.
Going SoloEvery young footballer, at some stage in their underage career, has come under the tutelage of a sage old oracle who offers advice and counsel on the game. Generally, said manager/coach/mentor will dispense his wisdom as easily as a slot machine coughs up quarters and the impressionable youngster in us will gratefully lap it up.
One of the more oft-offered pieces of advice is to ‘let the ball do the work’, which is shorthand for ‘flashy solo runs up the field are a waste of time and energy when a good old-fashioned kick pass or punt into the full-forward line is the way to go’.
The good folk at Drumragh Sarsfields GAA Club in Tyrone have happily decided to ignore that advice, let their legs do the work and go on their own epic solo run all the way from their home ground in Clanabogan outside Omagh to Croke Park. That’s a 115-mile ultra-marathon involving 130 Club members who will keep the pigskin up in the air for 30 hours and an estimated 36,000 solos on August 27.
And no, this is not to prove a point to some solo run detractor from their past; all funds raised en route to GAA Headquarters will go to the Club’s capital development programme and to the recently launched charity to commemorate Michaela Harte, the ‘Michaela Foundation’.
A Boy Named JohnnySideline Snippets would like to pay tribute to Johnny Doyle. Why, you might, quite reasonably, ask? For rebranding himself as an inter-county midfielder at 33 years of age? For playing through injury and acquitting himself so well in Kildare’s Leinster semi-final clash with Dublin on Sunday?
Not quite. Sideline Snippets has been in Woodward and Bernstein mode for the last few months, intrepidly investigating and remorselessly questioning the top inter-county players in the country in our weekly ‘Up Close and Personal’ column.
Now, we would never like to cast aspersions on players’ characters, but we have noticed a recurring theme over the last few months: they will spill the beans about their team-mates’ personal lives with very little prompting, but when it comes to opening windows into their own characters, they tend to clam up and draw the curtains tight.
Of the 23 inter-county players we have quizzed/harassed since January, we have noticed that the ‘What’s your party piece?’ question generally induces mild panic and much passing of the buck to unsuspecting team-mates.
With the notable exception of Dublin hurler par excellence Liam Rushe, who proudly proclaimed that when he has a secret talent for juggling pint glasses, Doyle is the only player to admit to murdering an old ditty when in celebratory mood. His party piece is the side-splitting Johnny Cash number A Boy Named Sue.
After losing to a 72nd minute Bernard Brogan point in Croke Park, something tells us Johnny probably might not have been in the mood for warbling a rendition of his favourite party piece on Sunday night.
Records fail to tumble yet again
Last week week Sideline Snippets brought you the rather disappointing news that Cork hurler Patrick Horgan’s 3-11 haul in the Rebels’ Qualifier win over Laois had fallen just short of the biggest individual tally posted by a player in the modern era (somewhat arbitrarily, we have decided that to mean post 2000).
And this week, we are afraid, Sideline Snippets is the bearer of further bad news. Cian Ward may have shot the lights out with 4-3 (15 pts) in Meath’s Qualifier win over Louth in Kingspan Breffni Park, but his rather remarkable feat is, well, a little less remarkable when ranked alongside the contributions of some of the Royals’ forward’s predecessors in the high-scoring stakes.
Indeed, you only have to go back to 2008 to find an individual haul greater than Ward’s, when Limerick’s Ian Ryan scored 3-7 (16) against a Meath team featuring the Wolfe Tones man, who scored a rather more modest 0-2 that day.
Fermanagh’s Rory Gallagher, though, holds the record for the biggest personal tally in a single game in the Qualifiers, the current Donegal selector scoring an impressive 3-9 (18) of his side’s total against Monaghan in 2002.
Never one to completely tear a player down from his pedestal, Sideline Snippets can confirm after an extensive trawl of the record books that Ward is the first player to score four goals since the advent of the GAA Football All-Ireland Qualifiers.
Meath are no strangers to scoring five goals in a Qualifier game, having beaten Antrim by 5-12 to 0-13 in 2005, while they also knocked five past Dublin in the Leinster GAA Football Championship in 2008.
Ward’s haul shoots him into joint fourth place in the 2011 Championship top scorers list, the Wolfe Tones man having failed to feature in the Leinster Championship defeat to Kildare. Wexford's Ciarán Lyng and Ben Brosnan lead the way with 20 points each.
Modern-Day Football Hotshots
18 - Rory Gallagher (Fermanagh), 3-9 v Monaghan (2002), Clane.
16 - Ian Ryan (Limerick), 3-7 v Meath (2008), Gaelic Grounds.
16 - Matty Forde (Wexford), 2-10 v Offaly (2004), Wexford Park.
15 - Cian Ward (Meath) 4-3 v Monaghan (2011), Clones.
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