‘Top 50 GAA Iomáint’, a rundown of the greatest hurling goals ever, was repeated on TG4 on Monday evening and it beat watching Vinny Jones lying in bed that’s for sure.
There were no shortage of Waterford memories among them, including Paul Flynn’s audacious top-spinner in the 2004 Munster Final. However, the honours went to Cork in the end, with Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s sensational strike in the 1983 All-Ireland semi-final between Cork and Galway top of the list, and you’ll get no arguments here on that score.
The way he doubled on John Fenton’s low-delivery to send the ball flashing into the top corner was pure perfection (with Fenton’s long-distance ground shot against Limerick two years later being a worthy runner-up).
Hearing Micheál Ó hEithir’s commentary on JBM’s moment of magic was almost as good as reliving the goal itself.
While most people weren’t quite sure what they might have witnessed as Cork’s captain diverted the trajectory of the sliotar into the net with an ingenious first-time flick, the man behind the RTÉ microphone hadn’t a second’s hesitation.
Displaying the same skills of observation and surefootedness that characterised his description of Foinavon’s Grand National winning gallop amid the carnage at Aintree in 1967, the versatile Dubliner called it spot-on in in instant. “OOOOH! ONE OF THE GREATEST GOALS OF ALL TIME!” he proclaimed – while rightly suggesting that “the slow motion won’t even slow it down” such was the speed of deed and thought that the man with the famous double-barrel name brought to the best ‘double’ act I’ve seen before or since.