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

Club Talk

Shefflin talks about Ballyhale's latest success, the inter-county season, TJ Reid's class, and a potential club All-Ireland this season

Club Talk

TJ Reid was on form once again as Ballyhale Shamrocks battered Dicksboro in the Kilkenny county final to secure three-in-a-row

Quiz

How well do you know the Kilkenny county championship and teams? Test yourself and then share with your friends The Kilkenny county final between...

Club Talk

Shane Stapleton and Michael Verney preview the big games as Ballyhale Shamrocks take on Dicksboro and O'Callaghans Mills meet Sixmilebridge

error: Content is protected.