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Two points for a sideline cut on the wishlist for inter-county hurlers

By Larry Ryan

The two-point sideline cut still features prominently on the wishlist of inter-county hurlers.

The 2017 hurler of the year Austin Gleeson, a noted exponent of the skill, backs the idea.

Austin Gleeson

“Although I haven’t hit a good one in a while, it’s a skill I think should be showcased more with the likes of Joe Canning, Mark Coleman, and Bubbles O’Dwyer almost perfecting them.”

That’s also Galway’s Pádraic Mannion view, though he has more partisan reasons: “Joe (Canning) usually gets one or two.”

The two-point sideline cut was introduced on a trial basis for the 2005 National Hurling League but despite several attempts to revive it, the rule change hasn’t been revisited.

Mind you, another Galway player, Jason Flynn, would take a different approach to sideline restarts.

“I’d allow players hit sidelines from your hand but a player should not be allowed score from them unless it’s on the ground. I think it would speed up the game a lot.”

The players are among more than 30 inter-county players and managers quoted in a new booked called Hooked On Hurling, produced by a Transition Year Mini Company from St Mary’s Secondary School, Nenagh and launched last night by Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh.

Among a host of questions about the careers and match preparation, students asked the players what one rule change they would make to the game.

Waterford’s Jamie Barron backed a tweak to the rule which makes interfering with an opponent’s helmet an automatic red card offence.

“I think it is very flawed and unfair for a player to miss a big game if he has carried out an unintentional interference with the helmet.”

Tipp’s Cathal Barrett backed that view: “I’d change it because it is just not enforced properly across the board.”

Waterford’s Patrick Curran would like players to be allowed to “play the hurley” of an opponent, while his team-mate Stephen Bennett would get rid of the square ball rule from open play. “I think it is needless and stops goal chances.”

Tipperary camogie player Caoimhe Maher would change swap shorts for skorts in the women’s dress code.

“I don’t know any girl who prefers wearing a skort instead of shorts and I think it’s not really fair to be allowed do all your training in a pair of shorts but then have to wear something different on the most important match days.”

Offaly’s Jean Brady and Tipp’s Gemma Grace would stop players scoring goals with a handpass. “It is almost impossible to stop them as a defender,” said Brady.

Twenty-five percent of the profits from Hooked on Hurling will go to Crumlin Children’s Hospital.

- Irish Examiner