Monday 27 April 2015

Easy Dublin Win

National Football League Division 1 Final:

Dublin 1-21; Cork 2-7

In yesterday's game, played at Croke Park, Dublin easily defeated Cork with the latter getting their second goal in injury time. I only saw small parts of the game on television but it was enough to learn that Cork's main failing showed through again: that is their slow-motion use of the ball, especially when they are in their opponents half of the field. Other prominent footballing counties with fine individual players — most notably Kildare — get bogged down by the use of similar tactics. Sometimes victory may be achieved despite the use of a quota of circular passing, but on the big stage, on dry lively ground with players getting close to top fitness levels, the futility of it is demonstrated.

My view is that the ball should be moved quickly towards the opponents goal at all times with judicious passing to players moving into space, thereby putting the defenders on the back foot. This should be followed by swift shooting when players get within range of their opponent's goal.

Monday 20 April 2015

Great Wins for Tipp U-21s

U-21 Football

Munster Semi-Final: Tipperary 0-15; Clare 0-7
Munster Final: Tipperary 1-15; Cork 3-8
All-Ireland Semi-Final: Tipperary 0-14; Dublin 0-12

Tipperary U-21 footballers are carving a niche in history with their heart-warming performances in this year's championship. Having beaten Clare in the Munster semi-final, they took on Cork — always a powerful force in under-age football — in the provincial final at Semple Stadium, Thurles, on the evening of Thursday April 9th. Cork had already beaten Kerry in the other semi-final.

Tipperary started well and led by 5 points to 2. A freak goal for Cork — when the Tipperary goal-keeper, apparently dazzled by the setting sun, mishandled a high ball and it bounced into the goal. This was followed by a Cork point which give them the lead. Cork scored a second goal early in the second half when a ball rebounded off the shoulder of a Tipperary defender into the hands of a Cork forward who put it in the net. Tipperary then showed their character and skill and were leading by five points with three and a half minutes to play. A scramble around the Tipperary goal with the ball on the ground ended with a Cork forward pushing it over the goal line. This was followed by a Cork point which brought them to within a point of Tipperary. Tipp held out for a memorable one point win.

It was then onto O'Connor Park, Tullamore for the All-Ireland Semi-Final last Saturday, 18th April, where Tipperary took on a Dublin team who won the competition last year, and whose players are drawn from clubs with a strong footballing ethos and experienced in high standard local competition. Tipperary found themselves 8 points to 3 in arrears early in the second half but they put on a magnificent display to win by 14 points to 12.

Now for the All-Ireland Final against Tyrone on May 2nd.

Wednesday 15 April 2015

News Extracts: April 1945

The following are extracts from The Sunday Independent of 15th April 1945:
  • Dispatches from Stockholm reported that American armoured reconnaissance patrols had reached the western suburbs of Berlin, and had been compelled to turn back after meeting with resistance. Other American units had reached the suburbs of Dresden. Earlier the Allies announced that Canadian units had reached the Dutch North Sea coast, and that British units were within 15 miles of Hamburg.
  • The big Austrian rail and road centre, St. Poelten, 25 miles west of Vienna, on the highway of Linz and Munich, had been captured by the Russians, as well as an industrial suburb of Vienna and Korneuburg, six miles north of the city.
  • A farewell message from it's supreme commander has just disclosed that all through the war a secret British civilian underground force, a highly organised "Marquis", existed in England, completely unknown, save to the very highly placed few. Threat of invasion would have brought the whole movement into instant operation.
  • In Italy, 8th Army troops were meeting heavy opposition against their bridgehead across the Sillaro River. To the left they had captured the German stronghold of Imola and advanced three miles beyond it.

Sunday 12 April 2015

The Wayfarer

The beauty of the world hath made me sad,
This beauty that will pass;
Sometimes my heart hath shaken with great joy
To see a leaping squirrel in a tree,
Or a red lady-bird upon a stalk
Or little rabbits in a field at evening,
Lit by a slanting sun,
Or some green hill were shadows drifted by,
Some quiet hill where mountainy men hath sown
And soon would reap,near to the gate of Heaven;
Or children with bare feet upon the sands
Of some ebbed sea,or playing on the streets
Of little towns in Connacht,
Things young and happy.
And then my heart hath told me:
These will pass,
Will pass and change,will die and be no more,
Things bright and green,things young and happy;
And I have gone upon my way

— Padraic H. Pearse.