Watching hurling live is incomparable





A high up officer from Croke Park expressed the opinion the other day that all will be well with the GAA this summer, even in the light of the competition from the World Cup finals.

The officials who run the GAA may be many things but they are not stupid. They know that the biggest event in the world only comes around every four years, and they know that it dominates the TV screens in every household on the globe for the five weeks of the World Cup finals.

Even without the Irish team on parade in South Africa the World Cup will capture the hearts and the minds of so many Irish people this summer, youngsters included.

It is the way of the world and it is a reality of the world we live in where access to major sporting events is now instantaneous, no matter where you live.

The GAA are alive to the threat. You can find the latest GAA news on Facebook and Twitter and Bebo, and you can even watch matches, sometimes illegally, depending on where you are watching them, live on the Internet.
Nothing, however, beats the thrill of watching a match live. Not the Internet, not the mobile phone, not the latest 3D or flat screen television.

That’s why those who were lucky enough to be in Pairc Ui Chaoimh last Sunday will never forget the hurling treat that was served up by Cork as they bounced champions Tipperary out of the Munster title race.
Free at last from the ravages of player power, the Cork players were able to concentrate on hurling and hurling alone this winter, and what a difference it made to them.

From goalkeeper Donal Og Cusask to powerhouse striker Aisake O hAilpin, they were cunning, creative and clinical from start to finish against a Tipp side that didn’t deserve to lose the All-Ireland final to Kilkenny last September.

Cork will have done their own Munster Championship aspirations no harm at all last Sunday, particularly when you consider that the Ragball Rovers team that is Limerick are next up for them in the provincial semi-finals.

More importantly, however, the hurlers of Cork, and to a lesser extent Tipperary, reminded us that the GAA will carry on regardless of the World Cup this summer.

The likes of Ronaldo, Messi and even that French cheat Thierry Henry may well dominate the headlines down in South Africa for the next six weeks, but the hurling championship will carry on as if nothing else matters.

If the rest of the summer can offer entertainment as good as that provided by Cork on the banks of the Lee last Sunday afternoon then nothing else will matter for those who regard hurling as the best game in the world.

And that’s bound to keep the men in charge of Croke Park very happy indeed.

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