Hurling unspoiled by tactics

Cork beat Dublin to clinch their All Ireland SHC final spot
The hurling season just keeps on getting better. That was another clinker on Sunday, Cork getting the better of resurgent Dublin to make it through to the All-Ireland final, three weeks from next Sunday. There was a crowd of 62,000-plus at Croker, demonstrating yet again how important it is to have Dublin involved.

The hurling season just keeps on getting better. That was another clinker on Sunday, Cork getting the better of resurgent Dublin to make it through to the All-Ireland final, three weeks from next Sunday. There was a crowd of 62,000-plus at Croker, demonstrating yet again how important it is to have Dublin involved.

There are tactics in hurling, I’m sure, but to this admittedly uneducated eye, it remains a straightforward game with nothing to learn from football. Get the ball down the field as quickly as possible, and when within scoring distance, which can be anything up to 70-yards from goal, get the shot in.

Resolute defending will prevent that shot from going in, just as a flick of the wrist or a neat side-step will take a forward into the clear. But as yet, no team has, thankfully, been reading the football manual with its chapter on blanket defending, or the one on cynical fouling.

Yes, there was that sending off on Sunday, the referee getting it right in my book; but what happened was a throwback to what could to a game 20 or 30 years ago.

The next semi-final is coming up this Sunday, a clash between next-door neighbours, Clare and Limerick. Regardless of whichever of them wins, we’re in for the first all-Munster All-Ireland final since Clare, captained by current Dublin manager, Anthony Daly, beat Tipperary in 1997.