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Late Monday Sunday Game Review - Dalo Sounds Almost Aroused By Yesterday's Hurling

Late Monday Sunday Game Review - Dalo Sounds Almost Aroused By Yesterday's Hurling
By Conor Neville

There was some long overdue glow-basking from the hurling boys, glorying in the wonder of their ancient game last night. They have had scant opportunity thus far this year. At least compared with the bonanza of 2013 and 2014.

The football segment implied once more that the Sunday Game backroom boys have paid some heed to the very worthy 'we want analysis, not entertainment' brigade.

Craic reading

Anthony Daly sounded borderline aroused by the spectacle on show yesterday. With his usual pumped-up delivery, he extolled the 'mano-a-mano' nature of the game and the 'macho' qualities on show. Obligatory nod to the other sporting events which serve as an unnecessary distraction to the hurling. It was hurling punditry 101.

He stuck resolutely to his view that All-Ireland hurling final day is Olympic final day. He won't be changing his view on that.

There was a tacit admission from Seanie McGrath, encased in a very zooty looking get-up, that the 'neutrals' in the stadium could not reasonably be described as such.

As a Cork man, he was happy to cheer a Waterford point, one hoisted over the bar by Maurice Shanahan, though Seanie, in his excitement credited 'Dan Shanahan' with the score. He said this as if it was a startling admission. Dalo was quick off the mark asking him why he was so eager to cheer. Cue laughter. Everyone not from KK was at it, not just the Corkmen.

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As usual, the football segment was more lugubrious and less celebratory in tone. The young guns Aaron Kernan and Tomás O'Sé were there. The only tiny biteen of craic to be had was in O'Sé's dismissal of the Eoghan O'Gara sending off. He was unpersuaded by the notion that a strike is a strike and couldn't get with the idea that such a feeble dig could have caused any harm to Neil McGee.

Accent hounds will have found something to enjoy in Tomás O'Sé persisting with the Kerry habit of refusing to say the 'O'' bit in the name 'O'Shea'. Eg. Seamy Shea went to look for Aidan Shea at the end, offering Niall Morgan another chance.

Anthony Daly 8/10

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Seanie McGrath 7/10

Aaron Kernan 3/10

Tomás O'Sé 5/10

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They made no headlines. Perhaps O'Sé's assertion that Michael Murphy's form is poor and Aaron Kernan's nod to Ciaran Kilkenny's remarkable number of possessions offered us anything in that department.

Anthony Daly 1/10

Seanie McGrath 1/10

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Aaron Kernan 3/10

Tomás O'Sé 3/10

 

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Tactics truck

Who saw the Waterford display coming? Seanie sniffed it in the air on the week of the game by listening, strangely enough, to the manager's interviews, which typically offer zero enlightenment to anyone.

But of course, Derek McGrath is different to other managers. As far as we aware, he is the first hurling manager to mine Harper Lee's novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird' for motivational purposes before a hurling game. He was unusually candid and revelatory after their Munster final disaster, attracting praise in comment pieces afterwards. He is so well got with journalists, that he hasn't even attracted much criticism for the style of hurling Waterford play.

Inevitably, Seanie alluded to Waterford 'throwing the shackles' in the second half. Unfortunately, their strange decision to put back on the shackles with ten minutes remaining was to prove costly.

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Daly introduced a short package highlighting 'Kilkenny sloppiness', an extremely rare treat on the Sunday Game.

Over on the football end of things, Aaron Kernan told us that Ciaran Kilkenny got 52 touches of the ball. This is five more possessions than David Moran mustered in that famous performance in the 2014 All-Ireland semi-final replay performance in Limerick.

Tomás showed a package highlighting the failure of Donegal's tactic of bombing the ball into Michael Murphy. Obligatory quick ball reference. This time in the context of there not being enough of it.

The go-to analysis segment of 2016, Kevin McLoughlin's struggle to adapt to the sweeper role, was given some different treatment yesterday. Aaron Kernan now held McLoughlin aloft as an example of the position played well.

Anthony Daly 6/10

Seanie McGrath 6/10

Aaron Kernan 7/10

Tomás O'Sé 7/10

Full-time score

An even-handed day. Dalo and Tomás share the spoils but the two boys aren't far behind. Solid performance.

Anthony Daly 15/30

Seanie McGrath 14/30

Aaron Kernan 13/30

Tomás O'Sé 15/30

Any other business

Fair dues to the Sunday Game, they paid tribute to the great Michael 'Duxie' Walsh at the end of the hurling slot.

 

Read more: KNEEJERK: Our Controversial Columnist Knows Why GAA Players All Love Sky Sports

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