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Winners and losers of the week

We look back at the positive and negative developments from recent days and matches in the world of Gaelic games

Who were the winners and losers of the GAA week?  

Winner – Kilmacud Crokes
After losing out narrowly to Kilcoo in last year’s All-Ireland club SFC final, Kilmacud Crokes made amends for that heartbreak by defeating Glen 1-11 to 1-9 in this year’s decider.

Galway talisman Shane Walsh, a new recruit for the 2022 season, proved to be the match-winner, scoring 1-3 for his adopted club.

Loser – Tipperary hurlers Liam Cahill’s side looked home and hosed in the closing stages of the Munster SHL final against Cork, leading 1-18 to 2-9 in the 66th minute, before the Rebels mounted a spirited comeback.

It may only be pre-season, but losing from such a commanding position is never good and it will give Cahill plenty of food for thought before the League.

Winner – Cork
There is optimism in the air in Cork after the footballers and hurlers completed the pre-season tournament double. The footballers claimed the McGrath Cup last Friday night, beating Limerick 0-19 to 2-7, with Stephen Sherlock and Brian Hurley scoring 0-7 each for John Cleary’s side.

On Sunday, Pat Ryan’s hurlers won the Munster Hurling League title when beating Tipperary 3-14 to 1-19. Despite trailing from the 29th to the 69th minute, the Rebels showed remarkable fighting spirit to score 1-4 in the final five minutes.

Loser – The Croke Park pitch
Known as the country’s best playing surface, the Croke Park pitch has seen better days. The conditions of the surface gathered lots of negative media attention with Offaly and Birr legend Brian Whelahan adamant that the “pitch is nothing short of a disgrace.”

With the Dublin footballers playing all their home games at GAA HQ, it’s hard to know when the field will get the time it needs to recover adequately.  

Winner – Clonoulty Rossmore
Tipperary club Clonoulty-Rossmore unanimously decided at a recent club meeting to rename their club grounds after the late Dillion Quirke. What a lovely gesture for their fallen clubman.  

Loser – The 16th man
Social media was on fire on Sunday night after pictures emerged during the closing stages of All-Ireland club football final between Kilmacud Crokes and Glen which seemed to show that the Dublin side had 16 players on the field.

Who is to blame for this debacle is still to be determined, as is whether the game could yet be replayed.  

Winner – Ballyhale Shamrocks
After last year’s All-Ireland final heartbreak defeat to Ballygunner, Ballyhale Shamrocks responded in style by claiming their ninth title with a 1-22 to 1-15 victory over Antrim kingpins Dunloy.

Eoin Cody scored 1-5 in a sensational performance by the Kilkenny star.  

Loser – Waterford LGFA
The Waterford ladies’ footballers started their Division 1 NFL campaign at home against last year’s All-Ireland finalists Kerry. However, the players had to travel to Piltown in Kilkenny instead of playing in a Waterford venue.

To make matters worse, they lost 1-9 to 1-8 thanks to a late strike by Kerry’s Danielle O’Leary in the 63rd minute.

Winner – Aishling Moloney
Aishling Moloney scored 0-7 on her return from long-term injury as Tipperary beat Westmeath 1-13 to 1-11 in their opening Division 2 tie in the Ladies NFL.

Complications during her recovery from a cruciate knee ligament tear cost Moloney all of last year’s inter-county season with the Cahir sharpshooter’s  last appearance for the Premier coming against Dublin in June of 2021.

Loser – Ballygiblin (Cork)
The reigning All-Ireland club junior hurling champions Ballygiblin have been dealt a massive blow with the departure of commanding centre-back Mark Keane to AFL side Adelaide Crows.

The Cork defender featured in new hurling boss Pat Ryan’s first game in charge against Kerry, where he lined out at wing-back. How will the back-to-back Munster junior champions cope without him next year?

By Darragh O’Flynn

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