THESE days we’re told we live in the land of the influencer.
There was a time if you wanted to sell your wares it was through a classified ad. Now, you also contact an ‘Insta’ influencer!
One of Limerick’s most famous sons lately is the mighty Greg O’Shea, who instead of signing up for John Kiely’s hurlers prefers Sevens rugby. During the summer, he starred with Amber in Love Island across the water. That made him an influencer and now he’s also got a radio slot.
Don’t worry the good editor hasn’t decided that my column is now a social diary. Stick with us.
Were it not for the fact the latest Dublin-Kerry clash was a draw we would have to listen to a number of people bemoaning the fact that the inter-county show had run its course for 2019 and that the GAA were handing over their media share to the opposing sporting bodies.
No doubt, a big play would be made of the fact that with the nation’s rugby team boarding for Japan for the upcoming World Cup, as the number-one ranked team, we’d become rugby country once again. Yes of course, the purveyors of such news do have a point as most of the nation’s sporting publications aren’t shy about focusing on rugby for long spells.
Then you have big Mick McCarthy’s army making strides. Sunday’s Group D draw between Denmark and Georgia could be the result that will enable Ireland will qualify for next summer’s finals.
For some, not having big GAA matches to compete with rugby and soccer, is an own goal. It may be, but let us remind ourselves that our club competitions need more time.
Maybe the influencers are missing out on the fact that there now exists a real opportunity for our media brethren to embrace club life and bring its publicity to a new level. I just couldn’t believe that RTÉ have really moved ahead with their brave decision, to broadcast two of the quarter-finals of the Cork Senior Hurling Championship.
This has to be viewed as a major change in direction.
On Saturday week, the game at 5pm between Glen Rovers and Newtownshandrum will be followed at 6.45pm by Imokilly and Sarsfields, and both will be available in all TV lounges throughout the land. My God, the times are a-changing.
I am just wondering, will this be the first time that a divisional side are on course to win the Cork senior hurling championship, for the third year in a row?
Can you imagine, if the national broadcaster were completely aware of the numerous subplots that attach to championship 2019, around these parts? I would argue that every other sports story would be put on the back burner.
As you are aware, not alone is every championship game that will be played in the three grades, between now and coronation day, significant in terms of where the bonfire will burn, the outcome of each clash can play a serious role, in what championship pasture a team will graze in next season.
Already the top 12 in both premier grade senior championships are known.
The next 12 to be brought to the markets are the senior B participants. Seven of the 12 are the seven senior teams that didn’t make the top 12 and they will be joined by five from the present premier intermediate grade.
Obviously, the elevation of that five will have ramifications for those who are presently housed in the intermediate mansion. This particular championship really is like no other!
Now that we have arrived at the aforementioned quarter-final stages, can we enter into the realms of predictions?
In the senior football, a serious argument could be made for a special achievement award to be given to Newcestown. A first round defeat to Clonakilty probably caused a few in the club to drink from the half-empty canister, particularly in light of the fact, that practically the same group of players are involved in flying the senior hurling flag.
Just over a week ago, a Tadhg Twomey goal was the main victory signpost, against their neighbour foes from Valley Rovers. On Saturday night, they faced Mallow in a round three game, that didn’t have any trophies, but for the victor, the dividend was doubled, a place in the quarter-final and a member of the top 12.
Seven different representatives, for the western outpost, raised flags and at the final sounding, they were one ahead, some achievement! To borrow from the cliché manual, they are now in the bonus territory.
Back to who might win this championship, I would think that county final day will feature the winners of the Barrs-Nemo game and Duhallow.
For the senior hurling, many are of the opinion that there will be no need to change the Imokilly ribbons, that were attached for the second year in a row last year. In the final, Glen Rovers should have the honour of also walking behind the Barrack Street Band.
In both premier intermediate grades, all those still standing could make justifiable claims for ultimate honours, but if one was to descend from the ditch, a mid-Cork final pairing of Cill na Martra and Éire Óg just gets the nod.
Honestly, the hurling equivalent is a complete minefield, but to give the impression that we may have some clue, I will go with Fr O’Neill’s and Castlelyons. We will park both intermediate grades to avoid showing up any more of our inadequacies. What a feast of activity awaits us over the next six to eight weeks.