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Joe Brolly Has Seriously Changed His Tune On Sean Cavanagh

Joe Brolly Has Seriously Changed His Tune On Sean Cavanagh
By Gavin Cooney
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If you do one thing today, be sure to read Joe Brolly's column in the Sunday Independent.

It has all of the typical characteristics of a Brolly column: the pop culture reference, the sweary aphorism provided  by a local GAA legend and a reference to classical literature (in this case Plutarch on Julius Ceaser). The most notable feature this week, however, is his reversal of opinion on Sean Cavanagh.

In 2014, Brolly continued his quest to maintain the soul of Gaelic Football by putting Sean Cavanagh at the heart of one of the most memorable live television moments in recent Irish history, following his hauling down of Conor MacManus in front of the Canal End:



Following his virtuoso display in the second half of last weekend's Ulster Final, however, Brolly has admitted that he can do nothing but doff his cap to Cavanagh.

Brolly recalls his first glimpse of Cavanagh in 2003, where he lined out against Anthony Tohill:

Cavanagh tore him to pieces and I sat there with Fergal McCusker thinking 'Holy Fuck'. It is scarcely believable that 13 years on, he is once again the driving force for his county.

I was very cross with him a few years ago after a series of games where he dragged men down. But that is gone from his game now. Instead, on Sunday he gave one of the greatest performances he has given in a Tyrone jersey, perhaps the greatest.

Brolly's superlatives keep on rolling:

On Sunday, for the crucial point, which is one of the best I have ever seen (my jaw dropped as it went over), he absorbed the hit as he took the shot. And that was the end for Donegal. Peter Harte followed up with a great score, but it was Cavanagh who won the game in that moment. He led, the others followed.

Sean, my hat is off.

Brolly believes that Cavanagh's hauling down of MacManus, along with Tiernan McCann's feigning of injury was symptomatic of a Tyrone side who were distracted, missing the focused sound and fury which Brolly believes is the hallmark of Dublin. He also writes that Aidan O'Shea's recent dive against Fermanagh can be viewed through the prism of a faltering Mayo side, unsure of itself and its identity in the wake of James Horan's departure.

[Sunday Independent]


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