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In An Era Where Sensationalism Sells – Be More Like Oisin

oisin mcconville

There was a lot of love in the air for Oisin McConville following his appearance on RTÉ’s Allianz League Sunday highlights show.

The Armagh legend has always been straight-talking and insightful, however, his time on-air with RTÉ has been limited over the last number of years despite the fact that he’s a regular fixture during BBC NI’s Ulster Championship coverage.

oisin mcconville

McConville was on commentary duty in 2018 alongside Marty Morrissey for high profile encounters such as Kerry’s tanking of Mayo in the first round of the Super 8 series.

The 2002 All-Ireland winner appeared on the couch last night alongside former foe Sean Cavanagh and Joanne Cantwell and proved to be very much worthy of the TV time.

Among McConville’s highlights included his description of Kieran McGeary’s decision to check on Eamonn Brannigan after being sent-off as “unTyronelike” went down a storm while he was also strong on certain areas such as the dying art of one-on-one defending and Dublin’s cynical play.

“I just think the art in general, the art of one-on-one defending is a dying art. And I think individuals fighting their own corner, that is a dying art. We seen that a lot with Mayo today, when they were one-on-one, I thought Monaghan were very good.

“Flip that over to the Monaghan side and we see the likes of Kieran Duffy, okay, he pops up with a goal but his first thought is my defensive duties and I thought Monaghan were just better than Mayo at those simple defensive duties today.”

McConville came into his own once again when discussing the cynicism shown by Dublin in the closing stages against Donegal. The All-Ireland champions managed to start a shemozzle in injury time that resulted in Michael Murphy receiving his marching orders.

Moments later, Donegal had the chance to secure a draw in Croke Park, however, a lack of Murphy in the full-forward line seemed to cost them dearly.

oisin mcconville

After David Clifford’s sending off against Tyrone two weeks ago, McConville felt that Dublin needed to be taken to task in the same way that Mickey Harte’s side had been over the past few weeks.

“What have we been talking about all week? We’ve been talking about the Clifford incident over and over again. I’m a referee ahead of the Dublin-Donegal game, I’m saying that common sense must prevail.

“Why would Michael Murphy get embroiled in that situation at that stage of the game? Two Dublin players were hanging out of him. In the last 24 hours, we have been talking about ‘closing out the game’.

oisin mcconville

“If it’s Tyrone the last day (against Kerry) it’s cynicism and it needs to be stamped out. If it’s going to be stamped out for Tyrone, it needs to be stamped out from a Dublin point of view.

“Saturday night was a clear example of how Dublin are ruthless and they close out games – but they are also cynical.”

On both fronts, the Armagh legend is spot on.

The art of defending one-on-one seems to have been nearly eradicated from the game over the past decade with the traditional role of a corner-back is no longer what it used to be.

On the topic of Dublin and cynicism in Gaelic football, it’s important to remember that every team is guilty of it but Dublin should not be immune from criticism because of their achievements, many (including myself) have been guilty of this.

oisin mcconville

In an era where sensationalism sells and whoever shouts the loudest is the one rewarded, McConville’s straight-talking and measured approach to football punditry is exactly what we need.

More of this, please!

Author: Michael Corry

Sports Journalist born in Armagh, based in Dublin. Interested in feature writing and listening to unique, engaging stories. Up for the craic too. Email: michael@punditarena.com Twitter: @MickCorryPA Instagram: @Corry_10

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