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'They're Entitled To Their Few Pints' - The Monday 'Morning' Sunday Game Review

'They're Entitled To Their Few Pints' - The Monday 'Morning' Sunday Game Review
By Conor Neville
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On the Sunday Game last night, the football boys got the chance to talk about something other than modern elite counties hammering the tar out of those who've fallen behind.

A dour edition of the Sunday Game. It badly needed one of the 'celebrity entertainers' to piss all over Mayo's bruised bodies. That's what last night demanded - at least from an entertainment standpoint - and we didn't get it.

In any other business, Jarlath Burns, big signing from BBC Northern Ireland, made his evening show debut last night.

Craic reading

The Sunday Game was enlivened by the presence of the charming and quick-talking Cyril Farrell, who echoes the Martin McHugh tendency of beginning his answer in one place, immediately drifting from the question asked, half-diving into various other topics, before eventually finishing his stream of consciousness very far from where he began.

We're big fans of Cyril - the only man to lead a non-big three county to three All-Ireland titles - but feel his talents are better deployed in the commentary box, where the pace of his delivery seems to chime perfectly with the rhythms of a hectic game.

Last night, he was more disciplined in remaining on point. There is something infectious about his voice which suggests that craic is being had even if he's not saying much.


Jarlath Burns' earnest analysis leaves little room for indulging in fripperies like craic. The only stabs at craic arrived during Des Cahill's asides and links.

Kevin Walsh - never shy about 'digging out' (as John Terry might put it) the media after a glorious win - answered those journalists who had written off Galway beforehand (namely, every journalist and ex-player in the country, including in Galway).

It can be motivation. It's either poor journalism or probably something that people don't really know too much about. Lookit, we'll let them off. They're entitled to have their few pints. It's a bit disrespectful, in fairness. We probably deserved a mention last week but didn't get it. But that's okay, we'll get it tonight.

Des attempted to inject a bit of craic into things by pointing out that neither Dessie of Jarlath drink and were thus entitled to comment on Galway.

But we are just skirting around the main point. The Sunday Game somehow passed by last night with no mention being made of Shane Lowry, not even prior to the Offaly-Galway segment.

Bearing in mind, Lowry hadn't even begun dropping strokes when the programme began, this seems quite incredible.


Cyril Farrell - 6/10

Seanie McGrath - 5/10

Dessie Dolan 5/10


Jarlath Burns 3/10

Headline potential

Cyril delivered here by zeroing in on David Burke's blatant off-the-ball hit on Shane Dooley, an incident which the referee managed to miss.

Dooley himself was thankful that the Sunday Game went big on this incident. In what may well go down as a historic moment in the history of pundit-player relations, Dooley expressed his gratitude to the panel on twitter.


Delighted @TheSundayGame highlighted what happened today! I don't mind being hit, but, Ref said "I didn't see it" ... Look where he was!

— Shane Dooley (@shanedoole) June 19, 2016

A truly historic moment. Pundits and players linking arms and embracing.


Sadly, Dooley subsequently deleted the tweet.

Elsewhere, Burns trotted out a couple of unusual arguments, having the temerity to question Colin Kelly's thunder and brimstone rant about the six-day turnaround, suggesting that it was the result of the Louth county board deciding to put club players first. He advanced the view that Mayo's coup against the management cost them neutral support.

He also appeared to suggest that the current Armagh side were a poor crop and vigorously defended Kieran McGeeney. There's limited mileage in that now. The commentariat have McGeeney fatigue.

Cyril Farrell - 9/10

Seanie McGrath - 5/10

Dessie Dolan - 7/10

Jarlath Burns 8/10

Tactics truck

The football duo surpassed themselves with a demolition of Mayo's tactical missteps. Dessie Dolan was especially good at highlighting Kevin McLoughlin's impotence in the sweeper role.

Sweepers may in vogue but Mayo's incarnation of the sweeper spent his day 'doing nothing', according to Dolan.

A bravura display.

The hurling side's discussion of tactics related to Tipp's ultimately shrewd lurch into a defensive shape for the second half and speculation about how Tipperary might line up in opposition to Waterford, the great defensive bogeymen of the 2016 season.

Credit: RTE

Cyril Farrell - 6/10

Seanie McGrath - 6/10

Dessie Dolan - 9.5/10

Jarlath Burns - 6/10


Dessie Dolan takes home the prize after highlighting Mayo's ill-fated flirtation with the sweeper system. They'd want to either refine it or dump it before their first outing in the qualifiers. The former is surely more likely.

Dessie Dolan - 21.5/30

Cyril Farrell - 21/30

Jarlath Burns - 17/30

Seanie McGrath - 16/30

Read more: 'Delighted The Sunday Game Highlighted What Happened Today'

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