September Road: It’s all gone wrong for Antrim since 1947
Michael Quinn the weatherman, quote of the day, number of the day, and Tadhg’s defence
Antrim were no match for Donegal on Sunday. Photograph: Inpho
Antrim endure 70 years of hurt
Antrim’s trimming in Ballybofey on Sunday brought to mind what could have been the high water mark in the Saffrons’ footballing history.
Exactly 70 years ago, they met Cavan in the Ulster final, having stunned them the previous year and only lost the semi-final by three points to eventual champions Kerry.
To that point, Antrim had won eight Ulster senior titles, with Down, Derry, Tyrone and Donegal on zero. Yet Antrim have reached just three finals since, last winning in 1951.
What happened? Well, with the final fixed for New York that year, Cavan weren’t messing around.
“The previous year Antrim beat us,” remembered Mick Higgins. “In 1947, we were the outsiders. But what Antrim probably forgot was we never trained for the Ulster final.
“But as this trip to New York was coming up, we trained for the first time ever for an Ulster final. The first and only time I think.”
The rest is history – Cavan won and would win again in New York and poor Antrim have never again entered an Ulster final as favourites.
Well at least their minors won on Sunday, though, with one Ruairi Brolly (yes, yer man’s son) kicking the crucial scores . . .
Quinn weathers the Aussie winter
Longford’s Michael Quinn was one of Longford’s better performers against Laois but that’s no surprise.
A brilliant all-rounder, he revealed on the Real Talks podcast last week that he once gave up Gaelic football as a teenager to focus on a potential soccer career with Bohemians.
Although he’s a better athlete than he is a weatherman, judging by his recollections of his first trip to link up with AFL club Essendon. “Packed the bags, sun cream, shorts, the whole lot,” he recalled.” Got off the plane in Melbourne and thought ‘Jesus this is cold, what’s going on here?’. Middle of winter! Didn’t do the research there...”
Well, it was August...
Number of the day
The jersey worn by Sligo minor panellist Séamus Hailstones on Sunday.
His name as Gaeilge? Yep, Séamus Hailstones. Ceart go leor...
Quote of the day
“Should’ve had a carry out with me!! crazy rule” - Monaghan’s Kieran Hughes (@kieranqz) tweets his displeasure after picking up a black card in the early stages against Fermanagh
‘I don’t like to get involved but ...’
Kerry’s AFL recruit Mark O’Connor threw petrol on the flames of the spat between Tadhg Kennelly and Tomás Ó Sé when he released a statement over the weekend which began, hilariously, with the line “I don’t like to get involved in these arguments but...”
The Dingle youngster obviously felt compelled to speak out in defence of Kennelly but what is striking about the whole affair is that it was the fear of losing prodigy David Clifford which compelled Ó Sé to speak out, stating that Kerry people are “cursing” Kennelly.
Ó Sé, not one for hyperbole, compared schoolboy Clifford, who recently scored 2-8 against Cork minors, to Maurice Fitzgerald, no less. No pressure, then!
Cork have upper hand in quarter-finals
In 121 seasons, Cork and Tipp met in the quarter-final of the Munster SHC on just seven occasions (plus one replay). In the 58 seasons after 1950, they were drawn against each other just once.
And then, in 2009, a glut started. Since then, the sides have clashed five times at the last-eight stage down south.
For the record, the Rebels led the quarter-final rivalry 4-3 before the modern run of games. Now? Despite reports of their demise, they’re still top, with seven quarter-final wins, five losses and one draw.