The Challenge: Name a formidable team of recently retired hurlers
First the parameters: We took “recently” to be within the last two years and “retired” to mean the player had publicly announced they had quit the intercounty scene (the date of retirement is included below).
These rules excluded some obvious candidates, such as Ken McGrath (who retired just over two years ago) and John Gardiner (who while not currently on the Cork squad, hasn’t said he’s finished with the intercounty scene).
But it’s still an amazing team – and slightly depressing, considering we will – bar a change of heart – never see them representing their county in championship fare again.
And there was no shortage of candidates (for example we didn’t find a place for Waterford duo Eoin McGrath and Declan Prendergast),
KAY MILLS COULD BRIDGE THE GAP
Amongst names such as Oscar Wilde, WB Yeats and Bram Stoker in Dublin City Council’s shortlist a few days ago for the name for the new bridge over the Liffey in Dublin was one Kay Mills.
As soon as Henry Shefflin shakes off his current foot injury the Kilkenny man will begin his quest this summer for a record 10th All-Ireland senior hurling medal.
But that’s just a record that stands in the men’s game.
Mills won 15 senior camogie All-Irelands with Dublin between 1942 and 1961 and the Inchicore woman – who died in 1996 – also claimed 20 Leinster senior championships (Shefflin has a paltry 12).
Best of luck to An Cumann Camogaiochta in their campaign to have Mills honoured.
To paraphrase (and mangle) a great Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh quotation, Oscar Wilde was a great man, but he couldn’t score points like Kay Mills.
A MONUMENTAL HURLER:
MACKEY IS IMMORTALISED IN LIMERICK
When you think of hurling in the 1940s, the three names that immediately spring to mind are surely Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Mick Mackey.
You can’t look left or right in Cork without seeing something named after the legendary Ring.
Among the most prominent is, of course, the county’s second stadium, Páirc Uí Rinn, the Christy Ring bridge over the Lee, and the statue of the hurler in Cloyne.
There’s even a statue of Ring at Cork Airport, strategically placed to welcome home locals and baffle tourists.
Rackard was immortalised last year when a statue was unveiled at Selskar Square in Wexford Town.
So it was only fitting then that the third player that defined hurling in the 1940s – Mackey – should be similarly honoured and yesterday a huge crowd turned out in his native Co Limerick village of Castleconnell for the unveiling (above).
There is of course already the Mackey Stand at the Gaelic Grounds, and – perhaps fittingly as no hurler ever went past him easily – there’s a roundabout named after him.
AGAINST THE ODDS
Too late now, but if you had . . .
Cavan minors and seniors to win double 9/1
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND
“You look around at Michael Owen and Jamie Carragher, when you hear about that (going out on their own terms) I am a bit jealous of that fact but your health is your wealth.”
– Kildare’s Dermot Earley, who yesterday announced his intercounty retirement.