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What went wrong: 12 key factors that led to Kerry’s shock defeat to Cork

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As Luke Connolly’s ‘Hail Mary’ of a kick hung high in the dark Cork City sky, time, for just a second, stood still. Thirty tired footballers, drenched to the bone by incessant rain, arched their necks and gazed towards the heavens. Cork needed a miracle to come down with that ball. For whatever reason, perhaps just for the hell of it, the gods obliged.

It was a privilege, if not a pleasure, to bear witness to what happened next. Mark Keane’s goal rocked Gaelic football to its core; it will surely be remembered as one of the greatest plot twists in the history of the sport. In an instant, it turned saints to sinners, and losers to winners.

For years and years, we sat at the top table and looked down at Cork. We patronised them. Pitied them, even. In one swift catch and kick, Keane made fools of us all.

The most sadistic mind couldn’t think of a sadder end to this annus horribilis as far as Kerry folk are concerned. The question, though it may pain us to ask it, is ‘what went wrong?’

 

1. The conditions. Páirc Uí Chaoimh may have been more or less empty on Sunday but at stages the noise was ferocious – not from in the stand but from on the stand. As the torrential rain poured down, it smashed against the roof of the new stadium and made a tremendous din. The conditions really were monsoon-like.

Now, the weather was the same for both sets of players, so you might well wonder what significance, if any, the rain could have had. The fact of the matter is that extreme weather often leads to lower-scoring games, and the lower-scoring a game is, the more it suits the underdog. If points are at a premium, it follows that the gap between the sides tends to remain small. This helps the less-fancied team to hang on in there and the longer they hang on in there, the more their confidence grows, as the favourites get nervier all the while.

This is exactly what happened last weekend. It wasn’t that Cork managed the conditions better – the conditions were unmanageable – it was that the type of game the conditions produced suited the team seeking an upset.

 

2. Cautious team selection. Not for the first time under Peter Keane, Kerry lined out with more backs in their starting 15 than forwards. Half back Brian Ó Beaglaoich played at No. 10, following in the footsteps of fellow defenders Jonathan Lyne and Gavin White who have also lined out in this position during the Keane era.

Kerry also had a midfielder, Ronan Buckley, at 12 (midfielders Jack Barry and Adrian Spillane have been listed in the forwards previously) and a half forward, Dara Moynihan, at 15. That left them with a forward division that featured just three recognised scorers: Seán O’Shea, Tony Brosnan and David Clifford. This was not a new approach by the current Kerry management team and in recent weeks that skilful trio were able to score enough to secure victories over Monaghan and Donegal.

The problem against Cork was that O’Shea (0-2, 1f), Brosnan (0-1), and Clifford (0-4, 1f) were either not allowed or were unable to get points on the board at their usual rate. Kerry got just 0-2 from their remaining three forwards, who in fairness to them were not really there to put the ball over the bar.

A lot of supporters would say that Clifford, Brosnan and Killian Spillane are not the only dangerous corner forwards in the county.

 

3. Defensive formation. Again, this is nothing new. Keane likes to bring 13-15 players behind the ball and make it difficult for the opposition to break through. But was it the right formation to adopt against Cork?

This set-up has been employed to help protect a defensive unit that had been porous in the years preceding Keane’s arrival. It has worked to good effect in recent matches, but it is also likely that Kerry used this game plan in those fixtures, and perhaps in part in the Cork game, with one eye on an All-Ireland final against Dublin. That is to say that they would have lined out the same way, with everyone back and no one engaging until an opponent tries to break the line, irrespective of who they were playing the last day.

As an exasperated Tomás Ó Sé said on The Sunday Game, “Kerry set up today for a game that’s never going to come”.

There is an argument to be made that this negative formation doesn’t play to Kerry’s strengths.

 

4. Lack of defensive intensity. Kerry’s defensive formation worked against Monaghan and Donegal for a reason. Players worked tirelessly and put a huge amount of pressure on the ball-carrier (without fouling) whenever one approached their half of the pitch, or the 65. This was not the case against Cork.

Whenever Cork punched holes they were either met with too little resistance or a tackle that resulted in a foul.

On a day when scores were hard to come by, Kerry gave up some cheap frees at crucial intervals. Eight of Cork’s 12 points came from placed balls.

 

5. Cork aggression. There may not have been a partisan home crowd to cheer on The Rebels but a lot of the shouting heard in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday evening seemed to have a noticeable Cork lilt to it. Both from the sideline and on the pitch, Cork scores, tackles and turnovers were greeted with guttural roars as the hosts looked to intimidate Kerry at every turn.

At one point, a Cork free was overturned when three of their players converged on Peter Crowley to goad him after he was called for overcarrying. They may have stepped over the line on that particular occasion but in general their in-your-face attitude helped them far more than it hindered them.

Kerry, on the other hand, seemed to be playing with a heavy weight on their shoulders. It was like they were fearful of what might transpire. Cork’s aggressive tone was a contributing factor.

 

TACKLE: Seán Meehan of Cork is tackled by Kerry’s Gavin White during last weekend’s Munster semi-final. Pic. Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile.

 

6. Midfield issues. Just as they did in last year’s Munster final, Cork came out on top in the middle third. Ian Maguire and Killian O’Hanlon bested their opposite numbers as David Moran – bar a couple of clean catches – and Diarmuid O’Connor struggled to get to grips with them.

Despite Kerry’s best efforts to crowd this department with auxiliary midfielders, it continues to be a problem area.

 

7. Missed opportunities. For a team blessed with such amazing attacking talent, Kerry had a nightmare in front of the posts. Seán O’Shea dropped a close-in free short, Tony Brosnan missed chances that he would normally convert, and David Clifford pulled two simple frees wide. You’re talking about three of the most accurate shooters in the country here. Such errant shooting on their part is a complete anomaly.

Diarmuid O’Connor also hooked a straightforward shot and Brian Ó Beaglaoich was unable to convert his side’s clearest sighting of goal.

If Kerry converted even half of these glaring opportunities, they would have won quite comfortably. The final tally of 13 scores from 30 attempts tells its own, brow-furrowing tale.

 

8. Poor decision-making. Of all the factors that killed Kerry, this might be one of the most significant. Peter Keane lamented the decision-making of his players in his post-match press conference and I thought he hit the nail on the head. Mistakes can and must be forgiven, especially considering the conditions; the ball was like a bar of soap and the surface was like an ice rink. Individual errors were inevitable and excusable.

But what will have frustrated the Kerry manager more than anything was the fact that so many of his players made bad choices right throughout the contest.

They ran into cul de sacs, took the ball into contact, passed when they should have shot, shot when they should have passed… Even David Clifford wasn’t immune to it. At one point he caught a mark close to the Cork posts but instead of taking his score, he played on, got crowded out and fired wide. He was furious with himself. Clifford is not the type of player to make the wrong call, but it was one of those days for Kerry.

The team’s elder statesman and leader, David Moran, was also guilty of some poor decision-making at the end of extra time. When Kerry needed to hold possession and wind down the clock, he took on two shots from distance and ballooned both up into the air. The latter effort handed Cork possession in the final minute, which ultimately resulted in the match-winning goal.

I know it’s easy to say it after the fact and if he kicks the point, he’s the hero, but it has to be said that it just wasn’t the percentage play given the circumstances.

 

9. Black cards. The fact that Kerry played 20 of the 90-plus minutes with 14 men certainly didn’t help their chances. Championship debutant Ronan Buckley would probably avoid his collision with Ian Maguire if he could do it all over again. It was nothing dirty or malicious but Maguire sold it and referee Derek O’Mahoney deemed it to be a body check.

David Moran was sent to the bin for a foot trip and, like most people, I thought that was a really bad call. Being a man light for the final passage of play in normal time was a blow.

(On a separate and slightly bitter note, how Maguire avoided a yellow card is beyond me. He had six fouls and at least three more that went unpunished. There was persistent fouling on both sides but the Cork midfielder was nothing short of prolific.)

 

10. Substitutions. Kerry got an enormous lift from Killian Spillane (he was their Man of the Match for me) but apart from that, you’d have to say that Ronan McCarthy won the sideline duel. Subs Mark Keane and Luke Connolly combined for 1-3 and both had a hand in the decisive score.

For Kerry, Micheál Burns can feel very hard done by after being completely overlooked while Paudie Clifford couldn’t exactly do much with the minute or two he was handed at the end of extra time.

It’s pure speculation at this stage but maybe these dynamic forwards could have made a difference.

 

11. The form of key players. The form of some important Kerry players was a concern coming into this match and unfortunately they weren’t really able to reignite the flame on the banks of the Lee.

Of course, it’s not all down to the stars. Far from it. The entire team must take responsibility and truth be told it’s hard to single out any player who was consistently outstanding for Kerry over the course of the entire season.

Maybe the lockdown didn’t help in this regard.

 

12. The goal. None of the previous 11 points would be of any major concern this week were it not for No. 12 on the list. Mark Keane’s last-second goal changed everything for Kerry and for Peter Keane.

It doesn’t change the performance, granted. They would have faced some criticism even if Luke Connolly’s wayward shot drifted harmlessly wide, but the whole affair would have been passed off as a lesson. A stepping stone to bigger and better things. The defeat and being knocked out of the championship at the first hurdle place every little thing in a much harsher light.

Was it avoidable? Of course. Tommy Walsh just misjudged the situation. Maybe he thought he and Keane were closer to the endline. Maybe he was wary of flicking the ball away at the expense of a 45. Time would have been up but it’s very difficult to know that for certain when you’re down on the pitch.

At first viewing I wondered if Shane Ryan could have come for it but you would fancy Walsh, with his size, to deal with it, and Ryan probably felt that way too.

But look, it was a day for mistakes. Everyone made them. The ball consistently wound up in strange places.

It was just unfortunate – or maybe divine intervention – that the final ball of the day wound up in the hands of a grateful Corkman.

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Eamonn Fitzgerald: Keane should know 11 of his 15 starters

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Kerry manager Peter Keane speaking with David Moran after the Super 8s match against Mayo in 2019. Pic: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile.

As Kerry ramp up towards the championship, Eamonn Fitzgerald gives his assessment of their preparations to date.

One certainly learns more from defeat that from victory, so what has Peter Keane and his management team learned from the 2020 debacle?

In fairness to the Kerry management, they have opened up the panel, brought some new players into the fold. They will bring them along hoping they will be in contention for places in the resurrection, which occurs when they start the 2021 championship campaign with a home game versus Clare in the Fitzgerald Stadium.

Tomorrow, Kerry will meet Tyrone in the NFL semi-final. Their league title is at stake. Too many supporters give them no credit for winning the 2020 National League.

If Kerry win and Dublin win as expected, there won’t be a league final and it will be a shared title. That is disappointing for the players. The GAA should have done better and ensured they a final had to be played.

IDEAL PREPARATION

Peter Keane and the Kerry players have had the ideal preparation for the championship. Three competitive league games so far and one more tomorrow. The Kerry selectors used the matches wisely, trying out as many players as possible to see which combination will deliver success.

Injuries forced their hands for all games and some established players were rested. That gave game time to so many players.

That huge win over Galway in Tralee was a great morale booster. They ran up a big score, inflicting a 22-point defeat on Galway, the worst ever margin of defeat for the Westerners. It was magical stuff, Kerry going at them from the throw-in and imposing their game on hapless Galway.

In my report I said that one swallow does not make a summer, but that one swallow was most welcome and hopefully the rest of the flight would follow to make a summer of delight in Kerry.

The eagerly awaited clash with the Dubs did not disappoint. Kerry were like the proverbial curate’s egg, good and bad in patches. Leaking three early goals was ominous. Had we learned anything about basic defending?

Dublin went seven points clear and looked odds-on to make it a 10-point win, but Kerry responded magnificently hitting six unanswered points. It looked all up when Dublin converted a late penalty, but David Clifford came to the rescue in the dying minutes of the game to snatch a draw. Lessons to be learned against the top opposition. Kerry forwards are very good, but the defence is still the Achilles heel.

Roscommon proved as tough as ever, but Kerry competed well. Still that goal leakage at the back was a worry. Diarmuid O’Connor improved steadily and will start at midfield v Clare.

Tomorrow’s very competitive match v Tyrone will tell us more.

STARTING 15

I expect at this stage Peter Keane and his selectors have 11 positions filled to start v Clare. They haven’t a surplus of class players and injuries will deprive them of a full hand.

I’ve still to see the Peter Keane gameplan, his stamp on this team. Every manager in any team sport wishes his/her team to play in a certain matter. The defensive tactics in Cork failed. Thankfully, that has changed in the three league games of 2021 and that is encouraging.

The ball is going in much quicker and sooner so that the inside forwards are brought into play. They score freely and once you get the ball inside 50 metres defenders are quite likely to foul. With Seán O’Shea that’s a pointed free in most cases.

I’m not suggesting that the Kerry defenders should send the ball anywhere out of their way. Leave that to supporters of Charlton. Get it out long and accurate setting up an attack, instead of lateral passing and not progressing.

I expect that the Kerry selectors have pencilled in 11 places and the discussion really is for the remaining starting four. They will also will be very mindful of seven other subs. The starting 15 will not be the 15 that will finish. Such is the intensity of the modern game.

DEFENCE

Shane Ryan has been out injured for this league and must be doubtful for the early stages of the championship. Kieran Fitzgibbon has been catapulted into goalkeeping duties and he has performed quite well, especially playing behind a much-maligned defence.

The goalkeeper is just not alone a ball stopper, but he is called into play once the opposition start moving out the ball from the other end of the field. He can see possible developments long before his defenders do. He can see the runner, gaps opening and real danger, before defender do. They are too taken up with marking their own men. The keeper is the eyes and ears of the defenders and must be sure and vocal. It will take time for him to assert his authority and the same goes for the kick-outs. Understandably, he hasn’t always succeeded in picking out a fellow player, be it short or long. That will come. Even Cluxton had to learn.

The defence has been much-maligned and leaking so many goals substantiates that argument. In their defence they are often at sixes and sevens with extra men galloping through, because other players let their men sally up field unmarked. However, I cannot understand why this sextet – and it could be any six – do not realise that their first duty is to mark their own men. Too often they stand off their opponents and gift them the initiative.

These are elite players who have been coached in the art of defence in their own clubs since they were juveniles. Too often, some but not all, do not seem to understand that there really is no defined tackle in Gaelic football, but you can get in close. Use your hands strategically and prevent the attacker scoring or laying it off to a fellow player. That’s all legitimate and there is no need to concede a free. I could name several players at club level who operate this defensive tactic so successfully. Great Kerry backs of the past did it. I think of players such as Paudie Lynch and Mike McCarthy.

The present Kerry defenders are plenty fit enough. They need to be near their direct opponents and be pro-active instead of being reactive. Rarely is there need for a long inaccurate clearance. A hand pass, or preferably an accurate punt kick will set the Kerry forwards in motion.

The Kerry full back line should not be drawn 50 yards from goal and certainly not sprinting out as a link man into the opposition’s territory. How often have we seen it by some of these defenders? Mind the house, don’t leave the goalkeeper exposed and the goal leakage will dry up, or curtailed at worst.

I also feel that Gavin Crowley should not be lured into up field sallies. He has a very onerous job. He must mind his man and also mark space. Tim Kennelly and Mick Morris before him were not classy players but were highly effective centre-backs. No yawning gaps to allow Brian Fenton, Eoin Murchan, or Jack McCaffrey exploit this this tempting mortal sin.

Primary duty for wing backs Paul Murphy and Gavin White is to mark their own man and when the two or three opportunities arise in the game they have the explosive pace to go up field to score or assist in a score. If that run breaks down it is not as serious, as if it happened to a centre back exposing the middle for those Dublin invaders.

MIDFIELD

Midfield has been a problem area for Kerry. David Moran has given Kerry great service over many years, but I contend that he should not be on the starting 15. He may well be on the finishing 15.

I like Diarmuid O’Connor. Big, strong, mobile, well able to score when the opportunity arises, he has a great engine and has youth on his side. Who should partner him?

Jack Barry is in the frame to start, but not Tommy Walsh.

I also expect Kerry to have a Plan B. My preference is to include Seán O’Shea and Paudie Clifford in the half-forward line, one of them centrally and both tasked with helping out at midfield. The older Clifford is mobile, brave and eager and could do a very effective smash and grab possession ploy. He should start. Now he is more even-tempered than he has been in the past. He can open a defence route one and knows when to deliver to the full forward line. I feel that we can get more out of Seán O’Shea.

I hope Peter Keane doesn’t fall back on the Cork gambit where the half-forward line’s role was to go back to their own half-back line helping out. Tracking back is important, but that last-ditch ploy inevitably draws out the inside forward line. Wouldn’t David Clifford’s marker love to see him 70 yards from goal? Even Kerry’s jewel will not score from that position. Again, send in the ball quickly to Kerry’s best scorers, Clifford and whoever is with him. Paul Geaney, Paudie Clifford, Tony Brosnan and Killian Spillane are in the frame to score.

You can have all the fitness in the world, elaborate game plans and astute use of the bench, but those ingredients alone will not propel Kerry forward in a realistic bid for Sam 2021. Pride in the geansaí will oil the winning machine.

Over to you the present Kerry players, whichever 15 starts v Clare, then Tipperary followed by Cork. Bryan McMahon the former Kerry player and songster was spot on with the importance of dúchas and tradition.

“You cannot box or bottle it, nor grasp it in your hand,
But pride of race and love of place inspire a love of land
.”

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Tom O’Sullivan and Tony Brosnan start as Keane makes raft of changes

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Tom O'Sullivan, Peter Keane and Tony Brosnan. Pics: Sportsfile.

Dingle defender Tom O’Sullivan and Dr Crokes sharpshooter Tony Brosnan have been named in a much-changed starting line-up for Kerry’s National League Round 3 match against Roscommon.

The pair had missed out on Kerry’s first two matchday squads of the season but they look set to feature from the off in Dr Hyde Park on Sunday. The game will be shown live on the TG4 Player (throw-in 3.45pm) with deferred coverage on TG4 at 5.35pm.

O’Sullivan is joined in the full back line by his namesake, Graham O’Sullivan, and Jason Foley, who moves from No. 2 to No. 3. Regular full back Tadhg Morley drops to the bench.

The versatile Brian Ó Beaglaoich will line out at half back alongside centre back Gavin Crowley and there will be a first start on the other wing for Mike Breen of Beaufort. First choice wing backs Paul Murphy and Gavin White are listed as substitutes.

David Moran and Diarmuid O’Connor retain their spots at midfield as Jack Barry misses out on the 26 for the second week in a row.

Stephen O’Brien gets his first start of the year at right half forward with Ronan Buckley of Listry on the 40 and Paul Geaney at 12 for the third consecutive fixture. Seán O’Shea is named amongst the subs.

There is no place on the panel for Killian Spillane as the Clifford brothers, David and Paudie, are joined in the full forward line by Brosnan. David will captain the side in Paul Murphy’s stead.

As expected, Kieran Fitzgibbon holds on to the No. 1 jersey. Eoghan O’Brien of Churchill has been drafted into the extended panel to provide extra cover in the absence of the injured Shane Ryan, but goalkeeping coach Brendan Kealy continues to deputise as sub keeper.

Liam Kearney of Spa makes his first matchday squad of the campaign.

Roscommon, meanwhile, are expected to name their team tomorrow. Listowel native Conor Cox, who made seven appearances for Kerry before transferring to the Rossies in 2019, was a 50th-minute substitute in both of their matches to date.

Following those defeats to Dublin and Galway, Anthony Cunningham’s side will be facing into a relegation playoff semi-final whatever the outcome of Sunday’s match.

Kerry can mathematically join them in the bottom two but Peter Keane’s men would need to lose by at least 14 points and Galway would also need to beat Dublin.

Kerry team to face Roscommon

1. Kieran Fitzgibbon (Kenmare Shamrocks)

2. Graham O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses)

3. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue)

4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)

5. Brian Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht)

6. Gavin Crowley (Templenoe)

7. Mike Breen (Beaufort)

8. David Moran (Kerin’s O’Rahilly’s)

9. Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Gaeil)

10. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare Shamrocks)

11. Ronan Buckley (Listry)

12. Paul Geaney (Dingle)

13. David Clifford (Fossa)

14. Tony Brosnan (Dr Crokes)

15. Paudie Clifford (Fossa)

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Adam Moynihan: So many GAA rules need tidying up

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Seán O'Shea evades the challenges of Brian Fenton and John Small. Pic: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Is there a sport in the world that alters its rulebook more frequently than Gaelic football? Every year when the first ball is thrown in, we’re left scratching our heads, frantically googling “GAA rule changes”, trying to come to terms with the latest updates to our playing protocol.

The changes to the advantage rule are causing consternation at the moment but the irony is that the game already has a number of laws that are either vague or poorly enforced. Below are just a few that come mind.

Surely it would make sense to iron these out before we even think about introducing further amendments.

1. Advanced mark. At its best (I would say less than 10% of the time), the advanced mark is a decent rule that rewards long-kicking and catches close to the goal. At its worst (the remaining 90% of the time), it’s a stupid rule that rewards nothing skills like short-kicking and unchallenged chest-catches. Plus, it abruptly stops the play for no good reason.

Of all the rule changes in recent years, it possibly holds the title of ‘most hated’. It simply has to go.

2. The tackle. You can only use one hand, but sometimes that’s a foul. You can only use an open hand, but sometimes that’s a foul. You can’t pull an opponent, but sometimes you can. You can’t push an opponent, but sometimes you can. What is a Gaelic football tackle? It’s so vague and open to interpretation. From game to game and even from tackle to tackle, you never really know what’s going to be foul and what isn’t.

It’s a difficult one for rule-makers to sort out but it’s not going to sort itself out, that’s for sure.

3. Booking both players when there’s a wrestling match. The ball is coming up the field. As the play approaches, a corner forward and a corner back become entangled and end up rolling around on the ground. Who do you think initiated that contact? Who has something to gain from that wrestling match? It’s almost always the defender. Is the forward supposed to go limp and play dead like they’re being attacked by a grizzly bear?

They have to stand up for themselves, and they shouldn’t be booked for doing so.

4. Feigning injury. The law states that attempting “to achieve an advantage by feigning a foul or injury” is a bookable offence. While the “foul” part can be tricky to spot on the fly, the latter half of the rule is generally far more black and white. Thankfully, players flopping to the ground and holding their faces when they’ve barely been touched is less prevalent in Gaelic football than it is in other sports, but it does happen. Yet how many yellow cards have been brandished for this infraction?

The shame of getting booked for playacting would be a huge deterrent and help stamp this behaviour out for good. It should be punished to the letter of the law.

5. Moving frees too far forward for dissent/impeding the kick. When a free is awarded, the penalty for dissent or impeding/slowing down the taking of the free is 13 metres. How many times have we seen an over-zealous referee bring the ball forward 20 metres or more?

I recall playing a minor game for Legion out in Rathmore. I committed a foul outside of our 65-metre line. For questioning the call, the ref carried the ball forward well inside our 45. For questioning the distance, he brought it in – and this isn’t a joke or an exaggeration – to the 13-metre line. That’s roughly 55 metres of a penalty instead of 26.

That’s an extreme example, granted, but even a five-metre bonus out the field could change the course of a match.

6. Hop balls. From the throw-in at the start of each half, every player bar the four midfielders is meant to be inside the two 45-metre lines. A metre or two encroachment here or there isn’t the end of the world, but in the 2019 All-Ireland final we saw what happens when the rule isn’t properly enforced. At the beginning of the second half, there were two extra players within the 65s by the time David Moran touched the ball down. Another six were just about to enter. One of those six, Eoin Murchan, gathered possession and scored a season-defining goal.

If a rugby or soccer player got away with being 20 metres offside from a kick-off, the referee would be demoted to the lower leagues in a flash.

Hop balls during open play are even messier. The players not contesting should be 13 metres away from the referee. The most you’d normally get is five, and that’s if the referee makes a big song and dance about it. By the time the ball reaches its apex there is invariably a sea of bodies awaiting its return to earth, and the resulting maul is anything but pretty.

Allowing the two nominated players to properly compete for the hop ball would lead to a greater possibility of clean possession, and some football as opposed to a spot of rugby.

7. Steps. Speaking of that Eoin Murchan goal… (No, I will not let it go.) The manner in which players travel with the ball is one of the most fundamental aspects of Gaelic football, yet it is arguably the least properly policed. Four steps is the rule. Four steps before you have to release the ball or hop or solo. But, of course, the inside joke is that it’s not four, is it? Not really. Sometimes five is okay. Sometimes six. You’d get away with seven. Maybe eight. Possibly nine. Ten? Ten is taking liberties. But yes, you could feasibly get away with ten as well.

Stringently enforcing this particular law might seem like a potential nightmare because players are so used to getting away with five or more steps. It would certainly prove contentious at the beginning, but everyone would adjust.

As it stands, it’s just another half-enforced rule that makes you wonder why they bothered writing it down in the first place.

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