Square Ball - Making A Stand
In the square or not
It was always going to happen that someday the title of this column would be back in the news in Galway. On Sunday last Corofin were dogged by the dreadful rule that has tormented players, officials and supporters for years. When is a player in the square?
There is no doubt but the Corofin forward Michael Farragher was in the square when he connected with the ball to put it into the net, but he ran in from way outside the square. While it is easy to blame the referee for that decision, but what about the umpires? It certainly was a controversial ending to a game that while dogged was never dirty, and referee Liam Devenney has to accept the blame for a number of woeful decisions.
Corofin can well feel aggrieved after this game especially with the free against them near the end that cost them a Connacht title and that was totally wrong. Having a referee in a Connacht senior club final whose biggest game to date was an intermediate final in his own county this year was a poor decision by Connacht Council.
Once again the lack of attacking and scoring forwards by Corofin came back to haunt them. However in the end, it is the square ball decision that Corofin will look at as being the deciding factor at the end. When will the GAA authorities change the rule so that it simply will no longer be an issue. While it is easy to start a critical observation on the radical changes on Galway hurling panel by the new management, there is no doubt a stand was needed. The bottom line is that Galway were nowhere near the top in championship hurling and while our hurlers who gave such huge commitment over the past few years and lost so very narrowly on several occasions, the fact was that Galway failed to make the All-Ireland senior semi-finals.
By making such radical changes in introducing new blood, Anthony Cunningham and his selectors have also ruled out the dumbfounded thinking among players, officials and supporters that Galway were going to win the All-Ireland every year for the past five and this year as they now look on a long term plan for the future. There was and always will be discussion on particular individuals who have been axed, but players in the past were shafted in various counties and played their way back onto teams again. It is now up to all of the players who have been brought in, kept in or dismissed to prove their worth as to whether they should be part of a Galway senior panel or not. It is time for players to stand up and be counted. Lets give them three years.