Lar-bashing continues in Tipp and Kilkenny seek new hurling kicks
The longest post-mortem in hurling's recent history shows no signs of stopping and they're looking for new ways to spice up their hurling in Kilkenny.
You know who continues to lead the Lar bashing
Can a brother get a break?
We doubt if the lingo is the same, but we reckon that somewhere in Thurles Lar Corbett is asking a question along those lines as the poisonous fallout from Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final continues apace.
And it will surprise few people to learn that Babs Keating is once again the first in line with a hammer to metaphorically bash the 2010 Hurler of the Year and his underperforming colleagues.
Having called Corbett’s performance “despicable” and claiming that he wouldn’t watch Tipp next season if Lar was playing in a caustic column for the Irish Sun on Monday, Keating heaped further blame on Corbett for steadfastly haunting Tommy Walsh and his shadow even though it was a pre-planned tactic from the Tipp management.
“It is alright to say he was doing what he was told but if you told a fella to jump into the Liffey off O’Connell Bridge would he do it?” he asks in his column in The Irish Sun today.
And he didn’t stop there either. In what appears to be a pointed reference to Padraic Maher, Keating said: “There have been some Premier County players taking to their Twitter accounts over the last few days. I can’t imagine the likes of Jimmy Doyle or Mick Murphy would be worried about tweeting the night or day after losing an All-Ireland semi-final.”
There was always going to be a post-mortem after such a comprehensive defeat, but the personal criticism copped by Lar Corbett this week has surely gone a little too far.
Regarding Keating’s points, in fairness, as such an experienced player, Corbett should have taken more responsibility and stopped the ridiculous trailing of Walsh when it was patently clear it wasn’t working, but he was only doing what he was told after all.
As far as the players tweeting is concerned, we can only say that Jimmy Doyle or Mick Murphy didn’t have Twitter in their day and Maher and his colleagues were only trying to in some way explain the Tipp display on a forum where they know it will be read by thousands of Tipperary supporters looking for answers.
That’s just logic, though and if you think that’s going to get in the way of Babs Keating getting something controversial off his chest then you obviously don’t know Babs Keating.
Kilkenny seek new ways to get their hurling kicks
When you’ve mastered the art of hurling to the extent that Kilkenny have, you could be forgiven for looking for ways to spice it up a little bit.
And with their dominance of the traditional game showing no signs of stopping, a new form of the small ball game has become popular in the Marble County, joining forces with golf to form a new super-sport that has been given the provisional, if hardly imaginative title, ‘Road hurling’.
According to the Kilkenny People, although the sport didn’t originate in the county (People from the People’s Republic have been claiming credit… hardly a surprise) it has taken off in recent times, particularly towards the south of Kilkenny and in Ballyhale, home to Henry Shefflin and the Fennelly brothers amongst others.
Swapping a club and a golf ball for a hurley and sliotar, competitors must navigate their way through a substantially sized course (the one in Ballyhale, for example, stretched for 4.5 kilometres) with low strokes and must combine the desire for distance with the need to avoid obstacles and the threat of losing one’s sliotar along the route. If there’s a tie at the end, it’s a simple of matter of a Poc Fada competition to determine who comes out on top.
It’s in the early stages yet, but already there’s talk of a road hurling club championship in Kilkenny. So far there's nothing for the rest of us to worry about, but God help the rest of us when it eventually develops into an inter-county one.