Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Sports

Sliding doors: Brian Whelahan’s flu game for Offaly in 1998 All-Ireland

Analysing the butterfly effect of Michael Bond’s decision to move his ill wing-back into the forward line with devastating results

Offaly legend Brian Whelahan came down with a dose of the flu the night before the All-Ireland final in 1998, and his early switch from wing-back to full-forward may well have altered the flow of hurling history.

The Offaly Express left their readers in no doubt of his display with the following match rating for the number five:

“Hit by a bout of the flu 24 hours before the match it seemed as though Brian Whelahan wasn’t going to play a part in the final.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“However, it takes a lot to keep Sid down and he played a starring role especially after he moved to full forward. Didn’t look himself in defence and was given a horrid time by Brian McEvoy.

“Still he cleared a ball off the line during his so called bad spell. Whelahan’s deft skills, intelligent thinking, quick wrists and distribution left Kilkenny in turmoil.

“He finished the final with 1-6 to his credit, 1-3 from play, and that is a great return. Where will Whelahan get his All Star this year? At number 5 or 14? Or maybe as a goalie?

“Remember his penalty save from David Fitzgerald! A superb all rounder. The most complete player in hurling. Forget the first twenty minutes.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“This was an awesome display from a special player. The best of our generation, if not the greatest of all time. Rating – 10.”

Shane Stapleton, Michael Verney and Fintan O’Toole cast their minds back to that fabled clash in 1998, and consider the butterfly effects of Brian Whelahan getting the flu and subsequently leading Offaly to glory.

Did the defeat for the Cats signal the end of Kevin Fennelly’s reign, and in turn pave the way for Brian Cody to be appointed just a few months later?

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The latter dominated the hurling landscape for a decade and a half, and perhaps it may never have come without Offaly manager Michael Bond making this crucial switch.

📮 Sign up to the OurGame newsletter — a daily email reminder of our latest videos, articles, quizzes and more.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the OurGame YouTube page for live streams and more.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Hurling

Shane Stapleton looks back on the All-Ireland hurling championship of 1998, a season to remember

Best All-Ireland winners

We look at the Dublin team that went back-to-back under Jim Gavin in 2016 against Mickey Harte's bearded Tyrone brigade of 2008

Best All-Ireland winners

These two brilliant sides make up the second of our quarter-final pairings to find the best champions of the past 16 seasons.

Sports

The Emeralds man talks about how he grips a hurley, his favourite Kilkenny memories, Dancing With The Stars, and his relationship with Brother Damien

error: Content is protected !!