September Road: The strange case of the lesser-spotted Cork football fan
Plus the reason why Mayo can take some heart from Kilkenny’s defeat
Picture tweeted by Pat Shortt (@Pat_Shortt) after yesterday’s victory by Cork over Kilkenny, along with the words, “Top is sad Kilkenny man. Below is happy Tipperary man”.
There were only a handful of London supporters at Croke Park on Saturday. Understandably. The English and Irish capitals are more than 400km apart as the crow flies (or Ryanair and Aer Lingus), and, believe it or not, despite a population of eight million, London GAA has a limited enough following.
Their lack of travelling support, however, does not provoke ridicule.
Quite the opposite – anyone making the effort to follow the exiles to the homeland is treated as if they just stepped off the Mayflower.
The same admiration, though, is not reserved for Cork football supporters.
The jokes were flying in the stadium and on social media on Saturday evening, as they often are when the Cork football team plays outside of Munster.
“The Cork fans would be cheering now . . . if any of them were in Croke Park.”
“The Cork football fan is going wild here.”
“All the Cork fans at Croke Park will have great craic on the way home in the car.”
The Rebels certainly had the fewest supporters of the five Irish counties represented at headquarters at the weekend (and there was also the small matter of yesterday’s hurling clash in Thurles) – and, to be fair, the football heartland of Cork is in the west of the county, which demands a 700km round-trip to Jones’ Road.
And that’s by Peugeot 407, not Boeing 737.
AGAINST THE ODDS 2013 LIAM MacCARTHY CUP
NO QUARTER GIVEN Football’s swings and roundabouts
After 54 matches, the number of counties chasing the 2013 Sam Maguire Cup have been whittled down to eight. The four provincial champions now meet the four teams left standing after the qualifier rounds.
The All-Ireland quarter-
final stage is incredibly difficult to predict – and it’s no different this season with Dublin v Cork, Kerry v Cavan, Monaghan v Tyrone and Mayo v Donegal.
Interestingly, in the past two seasons the provincial champions have an 8-0 record when it comes to the All-Ireland quarter-finals.
However, in 2010, the four teams that emerged from Round Four (Dublin, Cork, Kildare and Down) swept the provincial winners ( Tyrone, Roscommon, Meath and Kerry respectively).
A repeat of that next weekend would result in Cork v Cavan and Tyrone v Donegal in the All-Ireland semi-finals.
The last time Kilkenny went a whole season without
playing a senior hurling championship game at
Croke Park. Laois – who had beaten Kilkenny in the
Leinster decider two years earlier – knocked out the
Cats in their first game of the 1951 season in Portlaoise.
And, if you believe in omens, 1951 was also the last time Mayo claimed the Sam Maguire Cup!
PLAYING IN NOWLAN PARK
Bruce Springsteen had to rework the setlist last night at Kilkenny’s Nowlan Park as fans arrived back from Thurles.
Out went . . .
“Working on a Dream”
“I’m on Fire”
“Hungry Heart” and
“Tougher Than the Rest”
They were replaced by . . .
“Darkness on the Edge of Town
“If I Should Fall Behind”
“I’m Goin’ Down”
“Dead Man Walkin’ ”
“Sad Eyes” and
Too soon for jokes?
Eddie Brennan @NedzerB13
Conor gormley can barely run hamstrings look to b in bits #iknowthefeeling
Brian McGuigan @brianmcguigan7
Great win by tyrone tonight. Cavanagh unreal. Closed out game typically cool, calm and assured. Experience told. Critics- wise up.
Dara O Briain @daraobriain
Going to Croker to watch London v Cavan. Intend to shout support throughout in my Ray Winstone voice. Oi Cavan! Leave it, you toilet!
Emlyn Mulligan @emlynmulligan
Laois put up a good fight in Pairc Sean today. Well done Donegal in the end . . . they were made work hard for it! Mayo up next #cracker
matthew macklin @mattmacklin
Great wkend in Tipperary - cple of surprises. Ch’ship wide open now!
Second Captains @SecondCaptains
Clare pull away from Galway to win by 6. Canning still on pitch signing autographs for kids (and possibly a couple of adults).