Say what you like about Gaelic football, and most commentators do, but the annual Kerry-Cork slugfest produced another compelling contretemps at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday – a million times more entertaining than anything seen in South Africa so far – and few will surprised if the saga is resumed before the summer is out.
While Pat Spillane was smiling afterwards, his Cork co-panelist Tony Davis spat, “It’s sickening, absolutely sickening.” And no, he wasn’t talking about Ireland’s most tattooed teacher (more anon).
As if it were only a matter of taking out a classified, “it’s about time Cork got leaders”, Tony asserted. When it came to the crunch Kerry had plenty: Gooch, Donaghy, Galvin, O’Sullivan, Ó Sé. No other county has those players, Davis admitted (but it’s about time Cork got them, like).
Spillane agreed that Jack O’Connor – for whom defending a certain player could become a full-time job – can call on “three, possibly four, of the top 10 forwards in Ireland”; the “possibly” being the brilliant but ever-grating Galvin (pictured), the reigning footballer of the year, whose bit of badly-needed dentistry on his old mate Eoin Cadogan was described as “unfortunate” by Colm O’Rourke. (Really that Cadogan should know better than to be talking with his mouth full.) Oh yes, yet another “unfortunate” occurrence in the career of a player who’s blotted his copybook more times than Páidí Ó Sé’s had hot toddies. Unfortunate infers something is accidental. Well if ever there was an accident waiting to happen, Galvin is it.
Joe Brolly was hoarse, if not hoarse enough to stop him proclaiming that despite the more one-point differential Kerry were “by far” the better team. He seemed to achieve consensus on this despite everyone completely neglecting to mention the sending-off of Graham Canty until Conor Counihan vaguely broached it his defiant post-match interview.
Davis said the extremely dubious second yellow Canty received was a “crucial” call by referee Pat McEnaney, though seconds later Brolly maintained that the “overall influence” of the Corkman’s dismissal “wasn’t great” – and Davis stayed schtum. So which was it: vital or of little significance? You’d think the “well-paid analysts” Counihan referred to would have come to a more concrete conclusion.