Compelling evidence to suggest that the blanket defence has migrated from the pullers and draggers game and is now affecting hurling profoundly.
Colm Keys, in the Irish Independent, has pointed out today that the goals have dried up in hurling as teams are beginning to erect defensive shells around their goalmouth. Keys alluded to the stats in an interview with Waterford goalkeeper Stephen O'Keeffe, the team perceived to be most responsible for the defensive lurch of recent seasons.
In 15 matches in Division 1A (excluding the relegation play0ff), only 29 goals were scored, amounting to less than two a game.
Two years ago, 44 goals were scored.
So, who is the most responsible for the defensive turn?
True to perception, Waterford have both the most miserly defence and worst goal-scoring record themselves. Despite only scoring one goal in five matches, they finish second in the table.
Ironically, Cork, the bottom placed team, were the freest scoring team on the goals front, scoring 8-89 across five matches, easily more than Waterford.
However, they also had the leakiest defence, conceding 9-118, a whopping 55 points more than Waterford in the League.