Extra Time

Cumann Chat: Cavanagh deserves the benefit of the doubt

Cavanagh deserves the benefit of the doubt

IT’S good that there is some GAA news to keep us occupied during the lockdown, and Sean Cavanagh certainly stepped up the plate this week. His use of the phrase “up here in the UK” was a strange one in an interview with RTE, and understandably ruffled some feathers. However, the reaction from some on Twitter was massively OTT. It was, in my own opinion, just some poor phrasing when talking about jurisdictions and the fact that people in the six counties have to take their lead from London rather than Dublin. Anyone who still needs convincing should go and read some of Cavanagh’s comments about playing for Ireland in the International Rules series.


A mark of a club’s success

LAST week I wrote a piece about the Tyrone club Augher. The St Macartan’s were a mighty team in the 1980s, when they won two senior championships and provided the senior county team with some of their best players, including the great Eugene McKenna. Augher are a different team now. They don’t compete for senior championships, and their underage numbers have dropped. But what is interesting about Augher is that they have been tremendously successful off the field. They held a fundraising event that was massively popular. Only one team can win the championship every year, but clubs can still be regarded as a success. However, there’s plenty in the club who would say that football remains their priority. It highlights that interesting dynamic in the GAA where a club’s aims are focused on football, but they provide so much more.


The Ronaldinho of Camogie

LAST week we had not one but two pieces about Jane Adams in the paper. Our Grand Old Team was about Rossa’s 2008 camogs, who won the All-Ireland Club title, becoming the first Ulster team to do so. And Fionnuala Carr cited Jane Adams as one of the best three players she’s ever shared a field with, the other two were Mairin McAleenan and Sara Louise Carr. Mickey McCullough once told Gaelic Life that Jane Adams was the Ronaldinho of camogie. A savant with a sliotar, she spent almost her entire career double marked, yet never let that beat her. McCullough said that much more credit should be piled upon Adams as she was so good, but what I took from speaking to her was that she could not have achieved that title without the players around her. In the GAA we can tend to put players on a pedestal, and great players are important, but they can only be great if they have the support around them.

Ronan Scott

McGrane should be in same bracket as Tohill

IT has been a great few weeks of nostalgia for Armagh fans with a number of their big games against Kerry, Dublin and Tyrone being shown on TV. It’s always interesting watching back now and taking different things from these encounters, and what was clear is that Paul McGrane was an absolute elite midfielder. The Ballyhegan man picked up two Allstars, so it would be churlish to say that he was underrated, but he should be considered in the same bracket as Anthony Tohill such was his excellence. If you were to pick an Ulster team from the ‘90s onwards then those two would surely be the midfield partnership.


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