This junior hurling ‘A’ championship game in the highlands of Glenmore on Sunday was one of those encounters that can be filed away under any one of a number of headlines. Take your pick from weary, poor, waste of time, I wish I stayed in bed, better than Mayo versus Roscommon (barely), but hurling in anything resembling the Kilkenny mode it wasn’t.
It is doubtful if a colder, wetter day had been experienced through the month of February. It was truly amazing how any player could stay out in the conditions, never mind attempt to play hurling. Their limbs were Arctic blue in colour, and their hands were bloodless.
The game was of a lottery denomination, with players barely holding on to their hurleys. Endeavouring to hold on to the ball was akin to picking a soap bar off a wet bathroom floor.
How could one be critical of the lads who despite their best efforts or application just could not function to any degree of success.
Ten points were recorded during the first half. The home side recorded seven, all but one from play. Shay Dempsey grabbed two of the Kilmacow points, one from play, while Emmett Blanchfield scored the other.
The second half was even worse.
Defenders dominated, and that was no surprise, as their only function was to keep the ball from getting within 40 metres of their goal, and that was easily accomplished given that it was a simple function of blocking and pushing it out. Forwards on the other hand were bedevilled by the atrocious conditions.
In the final analysis, Glenmore won because they had a few forwards who could perform the requisite skills, thus grabbing a few points. But they had many failures in trying. Kilmacow were woefully short of forwards who could perform close to the persistency of the home side.
It would not surprise to find that, at least some of the players could have suffered from hypothermia. I know it took me until I passed through Newmarket to realise that my hands were still attached to my arms.
Scorers: Glenmore - Paddy Murphy (0-4, one free); Ken Cottrell, Darren Aylward, Brian O’Donoghue, James Aylward (0-1 each). Kilmacow - Shay Dempsey (0-3, two frees); Emmett Blanchfield, Liam Kearns (0-1 each).
Glenmore - Shane Murphy, Michaael O’Connor, Richie Mullally, Niall Dunne, Ciaran O’Connor, Darren Aylward, Sean Duggan, Shane Doherty, George Walsh, Paddy Murphy, Ken Cottrell, Brian O’Donoghue, James Aylward, James Irish, Ger Kehoe. Subs - Patrick Hennessy.
Kilmacow - Richie O’Neill, Johnm Barron, Ian Aherne, Shane Power, Paul Laffan, Paul Hennessy, Andy Kearns, Ryan McKenna, Richie Walsh, Emmett Blanchfield, Steven O’Keeffe, Liam Kearns, Ed Irish, Davy Ryan, Shay Dempsey. Subs - Maurice Costello, Jack Maguire.
Referee - Gavin Quilty (Slieverue).