TOWARDS the end of last week, the welfare of a Kerry mountain goat and hydration issues facing GAA players exercised a sizeable number of the inhabitants.
For others, the housing crises, break neck speed inflation and a number of other issues ticked their concern boxes. It takes all types!!
I have come across a few of those goats in my travels and from the brief experiences, I have come to the conclusion, that they are a hardy species.
They wouldn’t have survived the harsh realities of living on those unforgiving mountains, if the gene pool included the soft DNA, I have yet to witness one of them to pull up with a torn hamstring!!
Some from the concerned citizens felt the need to contact the national broadcaster as they observed a non smiling goat.
As a nation, do we overly concerns ourselves with that facial expression?
Anyway for the first time in the history of puck fair, the King was lowered not once but twice.
The water break brigade took aim at the suits that populate the Cork GAA executive demanding that the said breaks be reinstated.
The silent response must be the most annoying of all. I had the pleasure of attending four games at the weekend and bar one, where there was a one minute non clipboard break, the others proceeded without the official break.
There was no hydration issues, principally because of the abundance of common sense that was applied by the team managements and the match officials.
So can we ask what were the learnings from the on field action?
In the premier senior football, we have the three contenders Castlehaven, Nemo Rangers and St Finbarr's and then the rest.
In the first two years of the new system, there were just a few teams who put themselves forward for the relegation stakes, principally, Bishopstown, Ilen Rovers and Carrigaline.
Each of that trio lost all three group games.
This year the South East side are once again obliging but there are at least five others who have put themselves in the mix, could one argue, they are on a mission to prove that no team is too big to go down.
I think it it is fair to assume that this years relegation decider will be contested by at least one team that will have one or possibly two points when the group stages are completed at around 5:30pm on Sunday September 4th.
Prior to the commencement of this years campaign, Mallow as last years Senior A champions would have have been on some of our lists for the exit door.
In R1, they caused a wee surprise when defeating Ballincollig.
On Saturday night last they completely outclassed Valley Rovers who may now be depending on results else where if they are to a avoid a visit to Slán Leat Saloon.
The North Cork team’s full forward line of Sean McDonnell, Ryan Harkin and John Browne were really impressive.
The midfield pairing of Darragh and Eoin Staunton, two big boys were also effective as was Mattie Taylor at wing back.
Mallow have now qualified from group regardless of the outcome of their final game against Douglas.
Mentioning the south city side, their performance against Valley Rovers which was not helped by absentees due to injuries and wanderlust was relegation mode.
However, they were much improved against Ballincollig and the awesome equaliser from Andrew Cotter ensured that their season is very much alive from both ends of the spectrum.
In relation to the kick, by the time you will read this it will probably be at 100M, but we can saw it was a longer effort than the Seanie O’Shea 54M kick for the ages.
Surely now, the said free will inspire them and were they to defeat Mallow they would put themselves in with a shout of qualifying!!
On Sunday, our port of call was Charlie Hurley Pk, Bandon for a double sampling of Premier Senior football action.
The first game featuring Clonakilty and Newcestown was do or die as both had lost their opening round games.
The cause of last year’s county finalists wasn’t helped with non availability of Sean White due to injury but Newcestown were also minus a number.
After 28 mins, the brewery town team lead 6 points to 2 with another member of the White Clan, Brian in possession of his shooting boots. Into injury time Clon were reduced to 14 when Odhran Bancroft was black carded.
Not sure whether it was this or another example of the famed Newcestown resistance but during this period, the underdogs outscored their opponents 1-04 to 0-2, the goal scored by Jack Meade after good work by the hardy duo of Michéal McSweeney and Seamus O’Sullivan.
Going over the last, sub, Olan Walsh pointed his second and a famous victory looked on.
In the first of the four minutes of added time, Joe Grimes kicked an equaliser and when the final whistled sounded, an anticlimactic cloud descended on the sun splashed complex. They both knew, that this was the one to win.
The next day, Newcestown take on Castlehaven with Clonakilty facing Newcestown!!
The second encounter saw Éire Óg another team with infirmary issues fall to their second defeat of the season and now face the Houdini operators from Carrigaline with the loser of this clash guaranteed a place in the relegation final.
Goals winning games came into play here.
Twenty one minutes in and with the West Cork side struggling, Alan Jenning a blue collar veteran found himself moving in along the unfamiliar territory of the end line.
With the layoff option disappearing with each step, he went for it, the resulting goal was the catalyst required.
Midway through the second half, Paul Shanahan went long with a kick out which over shot the midfield runway and into the hands of John Hodnett. He embarked on a solo express prior to parting to the young Darragh Hayes.
The resulting green put the Rangers 3 ahead and they drove on from there. I would suggest, that with a game in hand against St St Finbarr’s, the Rosscarbery side have realised their seasons’s objective.
Honestly and at the risk of somebody suggesting treatment, these club championships are just mighty !!!