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01-06-2019, 17:21   #61
Alf Veedersane
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Offaly conceding massive scores. Better than the last few weeks today but not good enough.

The first 20 years of my life, there were only 4 Leinster finals Offaly didn't contest. Minor AI in 89. The magic of 94, going close in 95 and then winning again in 98.

I never imagined we'd fall so far. Lost for words.
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01-06-2019, 17:26   #62
 
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CHRISTY RING CUP Semi-Finals Down v Roscommon Meath v Derry Relegation Play-off Donegal v London NICKY RACKARD CUP Semi-Finals Armagh v Tyrone Sligo v Warwickshire Relegation Play-off Monaghan v Louth
Jesus it's a ****er not to make the semis after beating them today.
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01-06-2019, 17:45   #63
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I recall a few years ago tier two teams being ****ed over with several format changes all designed to protect and insolate the "traditional" hurling teams. Proof of the pudding is showing this season. Many said Offaly (or any other special status county) shouldn't have to play in tier two hurling, it was below them. Wouldn't do them any good. They'd steam roll all competition. Well isn't this a turn up for the books!
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01-06-2019, 18:37   #64
 
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The attendance in Tullamore today says all anyone needs to know about where Offaly hurling is and where it's going.
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01-06-2019, 18:47   #65
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Just had a look to see what their last win against Tier 1 opposition was; had to go all the way back to 2010 when they took Limerick's scalp in the qualifiers. Those two teams couldn't have gone on more different paths in the 8 years since.

Next best was 2011 when they ran Cork to a point in the qualifiers. Everything after that they've been bet out the gate.
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01-06-2019, 19:19   #66
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Just had a look to see what their last win against Tier 1 opposition was; had to go all the way back to 2010 when they took Limerick's scalp in the qualifiers. Those two teams couldn't have gone on more different paths in the 8 years since.

Next best was 2011 when they ran Cork to a point in the qualifiers. Everything after that they've been bet out the gate.
Unless you want to shoehorn 2012 Wexford into tier 1.

Too reliant on Shane Dooley for too long and now his impact is on the wane.
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01-06-2019, 20:37   #67
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The attendance in Tullamore today says all anyone needs to know about where Offaly hurling is and where it's going.
How many?
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01-06-2019, 22:08   #68
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Offaly beaten again.who they going to blame now
I wouldn't take any pleasure in Offaly's hurling woes unless they were indicative of progress by Laois, Westmeath, Antrim and Kerry.
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01-06-2019, 22:52   #69
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waiting to see how the gaa keep offaly out of christy ring , what rule change they can swing mid season

much like decide to promote antrim + carlow one year from christy ring - and force antrim v meath to replay the year before
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01-06-2019, 23:28   #70
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waiting to see how the gaa keep offaly out of christy ring , what rule change they can swing mid season

much like decide to promote antrim + carlow one year from christy ring - and force antrim v meath to replay the year before
I totally agree that movingvthe goalposts is wrong. The stunt you will probably see is Joe McDonagh increased to six teams, which, leaving aside the skulduggery involved, should probably have been the case in the first instance.
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02-06-2019, 00:04   #71
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Really enjoyable game to watch that was today. Great to be able to watch it on gaa now. Better late than never in showing some of these games.

Often very close high scoring encounters like today. Sad to see Offaly in such trouble now, but if they do happen to be relegated there should be no changes to any system. Let them down and if they are good enough next year will win the Christy Ring. 2 of Down/Derry or Meath will be there and they are no pushovers.

Well done to Antrim, good to see them improving on a poor league and Joe McDonagh last year. A few interesting games left in this to enjoy at both ends of the table.
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02-06-2019, 00:15   #72
feargale
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Offaly conceding massive scores. Better than the last few weeks today but not good enough.

The first 20 years of my life, there were only 4 Leinster finals Offaly didn't contest. Minor AI in 89. The magic of 94, going close in 95 and then winning again in 98.

I never imagined we'd fall so far. Lost for words.
In the first 20 years of my life Offaly never got to a Leinster final, or even a semi-final as far as I know. Offaly punched away above their weight 1980-2000, and what they achieved was utterly unprecedented by a county with about seven senior clubs. It was never going to last.
In the early 1960s the GAA set up a commission to report on hurling development in the weaker counties. They classed nine counties as strong and seven more as intermediate. The remainder were dubbed "the great wasteland" by the late Paddy Downey. The seven intermediate counties were Offaly, Laois, Westmeath, Carlow, Meath, Antrim and Kerry. I use the term intermediate because I can't remember the exact term. Of the remainder four were consistently stronger than the others, namely Kildare, Down, Roscommon and Wicklow.
People decrying Offaly's fall don't seem to fully realise that where they are now is near to their traditional and natural state, perhaps a little worse. They did well in the 1920s appearing in three Leinster finals and winning a few All-Ireland junior titles when that was a strong competition. Up to then they had played just one Leinster final. They then fell away for about 30 years, consistently overshadowed by Westmeath and Laois in particular. Laois were always able to master them. And they struggled to beat Kerry and Antrim.
The first time they attracted notice was in the mid sixties. Michael O'Hehir waxed lyrical about their performance in beating Kerry in the 1966 division two NHL final. In 1969 they shocked all of Ireland by dethroning All-Ireland champions Wexford and losing by two points to Kilkenny in the Leinster final. They moved onwards and upwards from there, with a few minor hiccups in the seventies until they eventually triumphed. But the 20 years of glory were the blip, not the present time.
Will Offaly ever return to glory? I think they will definitely return to dominating the Antrims and the Kerrys, but win Liam McCarthy? Not in my lifetime, maybe in yours but I doubt it. Offaly have little to sustain them now other than the tradition which they created in the good times. At the best of times such a county might produce a good crop once in 40 years., and then they must be handled properly and in addition must be lucky. Add to that the way in which the game has become almost professional with military style boot camp training, and the dominance of commerce.I fear not just for the Offalys but for the very inter-county traditional structure.
Other counties came close to breaking through, Kildare in the 70s, Westmeath in the 80s, Antrim 1985-1995. Difficult to see it happening now.
Laois could be said to have suffered a similar fate to Offaly. The NHL began in 1926 with seven counties, including Laois but excluding Clare and Waterford. Laois were serious contenders until about 1960, though not as consistent or as successful as Offaly.

Last edited by feargale; 02-06-2019 at 00:25.
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02-06-2019, 07:27   #73
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I'd thank that a second time if I could feargale.

I always felt the narrative of "Isn't it awful to see how far Offaly have fallen?" does a great disservice to what they actually achieved in the 80's and 90's. Given their playing population and number of clubs what they achieved was phenomenal.

That narrative also does a disservice to the teams who have deservedly beaten them in the McDonagh cup this year, they don't deserve to be spoken in terms of being teams that should definitely be being beaten by Offaly and that something must be terribly wrong when the likes of Laois, Westmeath and Antrim are beating Offaly.

I'd love to see them rise again but there's no fool proof way to achieve that, if there was then all counties would do it.

Dublin are 5th in the hurling roll of honour and they haven't won a title since before the second world war. They won a Leinster title in 1961 and vanished as a hurling power for half a century until they won a league and a Leinster under Anthony Daly earlier this decade. They were basically McDonagh cup standard for 5 decades and their return to the top table in the last decade was largely helped by major investment from the GAA in the 00's.

Given how long it took to get Dublin back to the top table (and not quite yet All Ireland winning standard) despite their population and club numbers, and just given the general overall demographics in terms of the number of hurling clubs within every county (I'd hazard a guess that the majority of counties have less than a dozen hurling clubs) then to be honest I'm not sure if we'll see a new county break into the top tier and remain there in our lifetimes. And unfortunately I include Offaly in that, their 80's and 90's success was once in a lifetime stuff.
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02-06-2019, 15:33   #74
An Ciarraioch
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Originally Posted by feargale View Post
In the first 20 years of my life Offaly never got to a Leinster final, or even a semi-final as far as I know. Offaly punched away above their weight 1980-2000, and what they achieved was utterly unprecedented by a county with about seven senior clubs. It was never going to last.
In the early 1960s the GAA set up a commission to report on hurling development in the weaker counties. They classed nine counties as strong and seven more as intermediate. The remainder were dubbed "the great wasteland" by the late Paddy Downey. The seven intermediate counties were Offaly, Laois, Westmeath, Carlow, Meath, Antrim and Kerry. I use the term intermediate because I can't remember the exact term. Of the remainder four were consistently stronger than the others, namely Kildare, Down, Roscommon and Wicklow.
People decrying Offaly's fall don't seem to fully realise that where they are now is near to their traditional and natural state, perhaps a little worse. They did well in the 1920s appearing in three Leinster finals and winning a few All-Ireland junior titles when that was a strong competition. Up to then they had played just one Leinster final. They then fell away for about 30 years, consistently overshadowed by Westmeath and Laois in particular. Laois were always able to master them. And they struggled to beat Kerry and Antrim.
The first time they attracted notice was in the mid sixties. Michael O'Hehir waxed lyrical about their performance in beating Kerry in the 1966 division two NHL final. In 1969 they shocked all of Ireland by dethroning All-Ireland champions Wexford and losing by two points to Kilkenny in the Leinster final. They moved onwards and upwards from there, with a few minor hiccups in the seventies until they eventually triumphed. But the 20 years of glory were the blip, not the present time.
Will Offaly ever return to glory? I think they will definitely return to dominating the Antrims and the Kerrys, but win Liam McCarthy? Not in my lifetime, maybe in yours but I doubt it. Offaly have little to sustain them now other than the tradition which they created in the good times. At the best of times such a county might produce a good crop once in 40 years., and then they must be handled properly and in addition must be lucky. Add to that the way in which the game has become almost professional with military style boot camp training, and the dominance of commerce.I fear not just for the Offalys but for the very inter-county traditional structure.
Other counties came close to breaking through, Kildare in the 70s, Westmeath in the 80s, Antrim 1985-1995. Difficult to see it happening now.
Laois could be said to have suffered a similar fate to Offaly. The NHL began in 1926 with seven counties, including Laois but excluding Clare and Waterford. Laois were serious contenders until about 1960, though not as consistent or as successful as Offaly.
Noteworthy that the seven intermediate counties are the same ones who have dominated the All-Ireland B, Christy Ring and Joe McDonagh competitions.
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02-06-2019, 17:01   #75
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Can us in Waterford play in the Mcdonagh next season ?
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