The John Horgan column: GAA predictions make fools of us all 

The John Horgan column: GAA predictions make fools of us all 

Sarsfields' Aaron Myers racing away from Erins Owns' James O'Carroll during the Co-Op Superstores Cork PSHC at Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

ONE of the functions of the work that we are involved in is predicting the outcome of games, both at local and national level.

In this newspaper a considerable amount of space is taken over each Friday during the course of the season into making calls regarding the weekend’s big games.

It can be a hazardous exercise at times. Get a call wrong and you be taken to task when one of the teams confounds your prediction.

Some people might not take the slightest interest into these predictions, some take them with a grain of salt but others might take them a lot more seriously.

Over the past number of weeks we have been trying to come up with the right answer every Friday but, more often than not, the opposite is the case.

When you try to predict the outcome of a game you base things on current form, history in the competition, a team might be without key players can be a factor too.

However, at the end of the day one does not have a clue how a big championship game involving what might be two fairly evenly matched teams might pan out.

If we knew what the outcome was going to be we would not be in this business at all, we would be resident probably in the Bahamas or somewhere like that, courtesy of Paddy Power.

Last weekend in two of the three Cork County SHC quarter-finals we got the call wrong, Sarsfields against Erin’s Own and Douglas against the Rockies.

Now, neither were foregone conclusions and they were always likely to be close enough but Sars were a form team, three from three in the group stage while Erin’s Own were somewhat fortunate to emerge from their group.

However, it was a local derby and in these type of situations anything is possible.

So Sars was the call and we all know what transpired, the Caherlag team deserving winners.

Douglas had been very impressive in defeating Midleton and the belief was that their time might finally be at hand despite the fact that the Rockies had been very impressive in their three group games.

We took a punt on Douglas and again we all know what the outcome was.

Back in 2014, Sars gave the Glen a good trouncing in the final and a year onwards the two met up again.

You just had to go with Sars to retain the title based on what had happened a year earlier and that they had done everything right since.

However, look what happened, the Glen turned the tables in no uncertain terms and ran out deserving winners. We got it right, though, in 2011 when Carrigtwohill, against incredible odds, went all the way to the winners podium.

They had defied the odds to even reach the final but in that decider they faced a very strong Cork IT side containing a number of inter county stars.

However, our call was for the club team from East Cork. They had some very good hurlers on board, some excellent club individuals and had proven themselves en-route when they defeated Midleton.

And the reason why they were chosen was that if the game was still in the melting pot coming down the home stretch the spirit of the club unit would carry the day.

And that is exactly what the case was, Seanie Farrell coming into the fray to deliver the point that sent the place into a state of delirium.

On the inter county front and where Cork are concerned, we usually opt for a Cork win.

Sentiment might have a role to play in it and it is very difficult to predict against your own county.

Of course, there are games in the lower grades of hurling when you have to make a prediction despite the fact that you had not seen either side in action or knew very little about them.

A lot of predictions are a toss of a coin job and when two teams are so evenly matched that might be the best way to make the call.

Take the county senior final in a few weeks, it is going to be either the Glen against Blackrock or Erin’s Own against UCC.

In both instances it is going to be near impossible to nail down but once nobody takes these predictions too seriously, it can be fun.

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