By Noel Dundon (Tipperary Media)
Harty Heartache and………Joy
A Harty weekend of hurling brought mixed emotions for Tipperary schools. The elation of Nenagh CBS winning their semi-final over Charleville contrasted sharply with the devastation of Thurles CBS failing in the last seconds to Árd Scoil Rís in a ground-sodden Kilmallock.
There was more than a chance of another all-Tipperary Harty Cup final and many would say that considering the soft match winning free awarded to the Limerick school, that all-Tipp final should have been a reality. Yes the free was very soft- crazily so given the importance of such a decision.
But, the decision to blow the game up immediately after the puck-out was even more harsh. Surely, the opportunity for one more play should have been the scenario. But no, the whistle sounded and Thurles were out.
Pitch conditions and weather play a big role in deciding the outcome of major games at this time of the year – how good a hurling game could it have been had Thurles CBS and Árd Scoil clashed in the height of summer?
Nenagh CBS now fly the flag for Tipperary and there is great excitement at the prospects of them perhaps capturing the famed silverware. They certainly produced the goods in that wonderful game against Charleville CBS – what a finale to the game and what excitement. Truly colleges hurling in Munster has the power to capture the imagination and we have been very fortunate in Tipperary to have been central to the story on so many famous occasions.
It will be a special time in Nenagh CBS over the coming weeks – they should enjoy and embrace the atmosphere, and use it to inspire the team to capture the silverware against Árd Scoil Ris. From a Tipp perspective, we could do with winning a final over our Shannonside neighbours.
Tipperary County Board announced a drive recently to recruit new referees across all four divisions. It is imperative that new knights of the whistle are found if there are to be enough around to officiate at all the games. This was a theme touched upon by the Secretary of the Munster Council, Ciaran Leddy in his annual report to Convention and he threw up a very interesting suggestion – how about having female referees?
“Attracting a sufficient number of referees to manage the ever-expanding programme of club games across the Gaelic Games codes, particularly at juvenile level, remains a major challenge for the Association. Referee development is a central part of the Munster Council Development Plan and we hope to see significant progress in this area in the years ahead….. A key element of our plan will be recruiting and training of female referees and in time we hope to see female referees progress to our Academy and to officiating at our Intercounty games,” Ciaran Leddy wrote.
Ladies have a huge role to play in the continued development of the Association across all facets including refereeing. Just like in the Premier League across the water, it won’t be long before we see ladies refereeing major games in our hurling and football championships. After all, men have been refereeing ladies football and camogie games for years, so why not vice versa?
Mid Awards Night
The Mid Tipperary GAA awards evening at The Ragg on Saturday evening was a most pleasant occasion with awards presented to the Hurler of the Year, Ronan Maher; Young Hurler of the Year, Robbie Ryan; Footballer of the Year, Jack Kennedy; Young Football of the Year, Philip O’Connell; Club of the Year, Thurles Sarsfields; and Intermediate Club of the Year, Boherlahan Dualla.
And, the Hall of Fame award went to a man who has given more service to the GAA in his parish of Moyne Templetuohy than ten men. Willie Fogarty won county finals in four different decades in the green and gold colours but his work off the field and his commitment to the club has marked him out as a very special person in mid Tipp.
How fitting it was that he was honoured so meaningfully by the Board.
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