TIME was when a reliable and consistent scorer of goals and points and not in that order either would command a certain starting place in a county team.
Not anymore, though, and it’s been that way for a while because unless you’re prepared to track back and hustle for possession, then most managers will overlook your claims for a jersey.
Different eras evoke different ideas and styles of how football should be played with the modern game still based more on perspiration than inspiration.
Go back in time you ask the question how a full-forward line of say Dinny Allen, Ray Cummins and Jimmy Barry-Murphy would fare in the current scheme of things?
Imagine telling them that only one of you can stay inside most of the time and the others must work back to lend a hand?
You could well hear the colourful replies and justifiably so, too.
I know that if I was a manager with those three inside, I’d be telling them to stick around and instruct the others to get the ball in early and often.
In a perfect world Cork coach Ronan McCarthy would be thrilled to have an inside line of Luke Connolly, Steven Sherlock, Cian Dorgan and the way he’s playing at the moment, the retired Daniel Goulding could do a job, too.
It’s a quartet in form going into the weekend’s quarter-finals across the four divisions and that’s not ignoring young Cathail O’Mahony either.
He’s showing his benefit to Mitchelstown, who are one of the fancied teams in the lower intermediate grade, with a six-point average per game.
Sherlock, from St Finbarr’s, tops the scoring charts with an impressive 2-22 from three games and will be expected to continue that exciting form against Newcestown.
Nemo Rangers’ Connolly remains a constant with each passing season, currently in joint second on 1-20, the same as Clonakilty newcomer Dara Ó Sé, whose season, though, has come to a halt.
Ballincollig, for whom Dorgan occupies fourth slot with 1-18 to his name, must deal with Connolly’s threat if they hope to reach the semi-finals.
The leading premier senior football championship scorers are:
1. 2-22 (7f, 3 45s, 1 ‘mark’) Stephen Sherlock (St Finbarr’s);
2. 2-17 (11f, 1’mark’) Luke Connolly (Nemo Rangers), 1-20 (11f) Dara Ó Sé (Clonakilty);
4. 1-18 (14f) Cian Dorgan (Ballincollig);
5. 2-11 (9f) Mark Collins (Castlehaven), 0-17 (9f, 3’45s) Fiachra Lynch (Valley Rovers);
7. 0-13 (2f, 3’45s), Brian Hurley (Castlehaven), 1-10 Cillian Myers-Murray (St Finbarr’s), 0-13 (8f) Conor Russell (Douglas),
10. 0-11 (7f) Eanna Desmond (Carrigaline).
Meanwhile, Goulding, who was 34 in July, shows that age is simply a number after streaking clear in the scoring stakes in the senior A championship.
It was tightly packed at the top before the last round of group games until Goulding showed his class with 2-6 from play and another point from a free in Eire Og’s important win over Kiskeam.
O’Donovan Rossa, who are through to the semi-finals, have three representatives in the top 10, Kevin Davis, David Shannon and Dylan Hourihane.
The leading senior A football championship scorers are:
1. 2-19 (9f, 1’45, 1 side) Daniel Goulding (Éire Óg);
2. 0-17 (2f) Diarmaid MacThomais (Ballingeary);
3. 1-13 (8f) Mark Buckley (Dohenys);
4. 1-11 (6f) Kevin Davis (0’Donovan Rossa), 1-11 (6f) Sean O’Sullivan (Kiskeam), 0-14 (10f) Mark Sugrue (Bandon);
7. 1-10 David Shannon (O’Donovan Rossa), 1-10 Dylan Hourihane (do), 1-10 Ben Shorten (Ballingeary);
10. 0-13 (8f) Conor Corbett (Clyda Rovers).
FIXTURES: TOMORROW: Bon Secours S ‘A’ FC relegation play-off: St Nick’s v Bantry Blues, Enniskeane.
Bon Secours I ‘A’FC relegation play-off: Mayfield v Glanmire, Na Piarsaigh. Both 7.30.
SATURDAY: Bon Secours PIFC quarter-finals: Nemo Rangers v Knocknagree, Donoughmore; Kanturk v Aghada, Ovens.
Relegation play-off: Gabriel Rangers v Na Piarsaigh, Ballinacarriga. All 2pm.
Bon Secours IFC quarter-finals: Kilshannig v Glanworth, Killavullen; Millstreet v Aghabullogue, Ballyvourney; Mitchelstown v Kinsale, Carrigtwohill; Rockchapel v Ballinora, Mallow. All 4pm.
SUNDAY: Bon Secours PSFC quarter-finals: Nemo Rangers v Ballincollig, Pairc Ui Rinn, 2pm; St Finbarr’s v Newcestown, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 4pm; Valley Rovers v Duhallow, Pairc Ui Rinn, 7pm.
Relegation play-off: Bishopstown v Ilen Rovers, Clonakilty, 2pm.
S ‘A’FC quarter-finals: St Michael’s v Eire Og, Ballyanly, 2pm; Mallow v Bandon, Coachford, 4pm.