Five talking points from Sunday’s Gaelic Football action.
Gaelic Football is back and here are five talking points from the weekend’s action which saw Dublin beat Roscommon and Meath get the better of Westmeath.
We learned nothing new from Dublin victory.
Dublin ended up cruising to a nine-point win over Roscommon. The All-Ireland champions missed two penalties as well, so the scoreline could have been worse from a Roscommon perspective.
Cormac Costello was impressive for Dublin, scoring 1-13. Costello has been a very good player since underage and he may finally get a chance to be a regular on this all-conquering side.
He missed two penalties however and if Dublin were to miss two penalties against stronger opponents they could be punished severely.
Roscommon are a county that punches way above their weight. Anthony Cunningham’s side maximise their resources, though they are very much a yo-yo side between division one and two. The reigning second division champions performed okay yesterday, although the gap between the sides was evident throughout.
We will know a lot more about what level Dublin are at after they face Kerry next weekend.
Colm Collins working his magic again.
There’s an argument to be made that Clare boss Colm Collins is one of the best managers in Gaelic Football. He always has a positive outlook and demeanour and is incredibly courteous and insightful when speaking in interviews.
Clare were dealt a hammer blow when Gary Brennan retired at the end of last season. Gordon Kelly also called it a day. Collins, however, refused to get downbeat by those departures and instead focused on the players at his disposal. He has taken Clare from division four to being a solid division two team and this is their fifth year in that division.
The Munster outfit delivered a brilliant performance yesterday defeating Laois by seven points and if Collins’ charges can win one of their final two group games, they will have avoided relegation again, while also being in a promotion play-off.
Great to see Colm Collins back once again with Clare Footballers. One of the best managers in the game.
— Martin Kiely (@MartinKiely1) January 26, 2021
Collins told the Irish Examiner after the game that he would “dearly love to get promotion to Division 1.” If that feat is achieved before he retires, then he will have taken his native county from the bottom to the top.
This is his eighth season in charge – the longest-serving manager in Ireland. Things certainly haven’t gone stale.
Offaly in a great position under John Maughan.
John Maughan is definitely getting the most out of this Offaly Gaelic football team, as the Leinster side had a brilliant win away to Wicklow on Sunday. Maughan has performed well with Clare, Fermanagh and Mayo in the past and he can add Offaly to that list.
He’s gradually improved this team since taking over ahead of the 2019 season and if he can win one of his final two games, his side will find themselves in a promotion play-off.
Maughan has his own way of coaching teams, which is to have a go and attack while training very hard and it is working for him in the midlands.
The league is more important than the championship for Leinster counties.
For counties outside of Dublin within the province of Leinster, the league is more important than the championship. Dublin have won 15 out of the last 16 Leinster Championships and are going for eleven successive provincial championships.
It’s not unfair to say that Dessie Farrell’s side are definitely going to win Leinster again this year and with no qualifiers, what is the purpose of the other Leinster sides even bothering?
The only thing those teams can aspire to do is compete in the league. The league is the championship for those teams, despite what people will say.
It’s the only competition they have a realistic chance of winning. Meath against Westmeath yesterday a prime example. It was a do or die clash and both teams treated it as such. Meath won by a point and are now in a pole position to reach a promotion play-off, whereas Westmeath are looking at a relegation play-off.
If the sides do meet in Championship, it will be a battle to determine who gets a heavy beating against Dublin in the final. Anyone who thinks differently is deluded.
Is Gaelic football now a better spectacle than hurling?
A lot of hurling fans will think strongly disagree, but there’s a strong case to be made that Gaelic football, at the moment, is better to watch than hurling. There are some unbelievable talents playing football, such as David Clifford, Brian Fenton and Stephen Cluxton.
Virtually all of the top football teams now employ an attractive brand of football. It is now a beautiful, free-flowing game, which is easy on the eye, while also being full of physicality.
It’s becoming everything that hurling used to be.