Another weekend of GAA club prediction mistakes for me and my tips

Another weekend of GAA club prediction mistakes for me and my tips

Eoghan O'Shea, Bantry and Alan Hogan, Na Piarsaigh end up on the grass in their Bon Secours Premier Intermediate Football Championship match at Dunmanway, West Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

I'M just wondering if the boys in the Garda car that is parked regularly at the top of Ballinlough Road, in close vicinity to Nemo Taoiseach’s residence would be interested in a wee nixer at weekends?

In light of some recent erroneous predictions, I am beginning to think that a tad of personal security might be a good idea!!

Last week, we had to good folk at Cloyne, making their views known, this weekend the letter of apology will have to be dispatched to Carrigaline.

A few weeks back in an effort to predict what may happen in the PSFC, in the group that included St Finbarr’s, Éire Óg, Carbery Rangers and Carrigaline we more or less suggested that the latter would represent the group in the relegation stakes.

Not sure, as to the exact time on Sunday, that the social media pigeons made their first dispatch from Carrigaline to Innishannon but they were still at full tilt all day Monday.

As a modicum of defence, the research department provided some incriminating evidence. 

In 2020, the first year of the new format, when they group stages were completed, the South East representatives were on zero points as were Ilen Rovers and Bishopstown, so the mathematicians had to go to point difference, the west cork team on -43 lead the way but other two were tied on -23 each, so next, they had to consult with the points scored column Carrigaline 32, Bishopstown 29. 

As a wee matter of interest Bishopstown lost that Slán Leat Final.

St. Vincent's Michael O'Leary is tackled by Cill Na Martra's Fionnbarra O'hEalaithe and Ciarán O'Duinnín during the Bon Secours PIFC at Coachford. Picture; Eddie O'Hare
St. Vincent's Michael O'Leary is tackled by Cill Na Martra's Fionnbarra O'hEalaithe and Ciarán O'Duinnín during the Bon Secours PIFC at Coachford. Picture; Eddie O'Hare

Fast forward to the end of the group stages last year and Carrigaline weren’t going to be denied another shot a heading down, they again finished with zero points and a whopping scoring difference -52, their opponents in the final being Ilen Rovers. 

In added time, the sides level 0-10 each, enter one Callum Barrett a player who had being introduced and with the last kick of the game, he raised a green flay. 

Ilen gone, the blue and gold survive. Houdini nods.

This year, they lost their opening two games to St Finbarr's and Carbery Rangers and on Sunday afternoon they made the short journey short west to Ballygarvan to meet Éire Óg in the final group game. 

No doubt, they occupied top ranking in GAA accumulators all over the country, this result was a close to a gimme as you will get. 

Going over the last Éire Óg despite a non convincing display had it in the bag.

However the mna mór hadn’t given her verdict, three minutes into injury time and the warmest of favourites leading by two, the ball came to Nathan O’Keeffe, he collected and let fly, the green flag went up and Houdini cheered. 

Brian Coakley who had a playing spell with St Jude’s added another. Éire Óg will now play Newcestown in the Slán Leat on Saturday week at 4pm in Brinny.

Not sure what the criteria is for the inclusion in a Netflix series but if sporting drama is a requirement, then a strong case could be put forward for a producer to look at what Cork GAA has to offer in this regard in terms of its relegation structures.

On Saturday evening in Cloughduv, Ilen Rovers with a Sean O’Donovan point late on in the sixth minute of added time ensured a first championship victory of 2022. 

Defeating Newmarket 0-14 to 0-13, it is the Duhallow representatives, who will now take on Bandon for the non coveted eviction slip. 

In the aftermath of the last whistle the team from rowing land out west celebrated as if the had taken possession of the county trophy. 

St Nicks players at Pairc Ui Rinn on Saturday.
St Nicks players at Pairc Ui Rinn on Saturday.

Needless to state a socialisation event ensued.

The 8 early games on Saturday afternoon in the IAFC also had no end of relegation drama attached. As a consequence of this grade being reduced to 12 teams for the 2023 championships, the bottom team in each group were to be shown the door.

In group 4, after the first two games, St Finbarrs were in second spot with 2 points, Dromtarriffe were basement dwellers on zero. 

I don’t know, what went wrong or what went right, but an hour and 20 minutes after throw in, the Duhallow representative had cut loose and won 1-19 to 0-06.

In the same group, Aghabullogue despite being without their top scorer, Irish amateur international soccer player Luke Casey, defeated Ballinora 3-15 to 0-14, with Cialan O’Sullivan netting twice. 

When the relegation tally folk checked the tables both Ballinora and the Barrs were on two points but because the blues scoring difference was inferior (-16 to -14) it was they who had to say their good byes.

In group 3 of the same championship, had Glanmire scored one point less or Millstreet one more, it is the East Cork that would have gone down. As it happened the draw 1-8 each was enough to save them, again because of a superior scoring difference. 

To quote one of their own “they survived by the skin of their teeth.” 

No relegation document, would be complete without mention of St Nicks, three successive relegations in as many seasons. 

Well at least now, they have an opportunity to be competitive and they may emerge from this rather chastening experience a better playing club.

Staying in the Northside and our previous assertion that Gaelic football is in a perilous state can be further illustrated by the the following statistic. 

Since the new system came on stream,  three years ago, teams for this area of the city have played a total of 30 group games with only three wins recorded, that is a 90% loosing strike.

For the 2023 season, the area will not be represented in either the premier or senior A football championship. 

Na Piarsaigh and St Vincent’s if the latter win their relegation play off will be the only representatives in premier intermediate, there will be none in the intermediate grade. 

Pretty damming.

These few statistics are not presented for any other reason only to raise awareness but I am not at all sure as to whether there exist a desire to change this pretty bleak situation.

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