Club Championships 2019 - 3 Like(s)
I said here after the county semi final that I didn't think Tourlestrane were really that good a team, by which I meant that in the sense that they should be enjoying such a overwhelming dominance of Sligo football as they do right now, and a fair few seemed to disagree. Might be no harm to consider that after another one-and-done in Connacht by them, and their worst defeat in it yet. The optimism that seemed to be around about their chances in Connacht was a bit of a mystery, and as it turns out misplaced.
In their credit, in this decade they have won six championships, including the last four in a row, not done since the 60s. They have also won eight league titles, the last five in a row, and 7 out of 8. And they have had some ridiculous run like only losing 1 or 2 league games in that time, as well as being unbeaten in about 25 games or so in championship. It is fair going to be fair to them, to keep up that level of success.
Against that though they have now lost their last six Connacht club ties, and a team that has posted such big scores inside the county has managed just 0-5, 0-9, 0-5 and 0-6 in the last four years in Connacht. And you're going back to the early 90's since they beat a non-Leitrim team in it. When you see what Mullinalaghta achieved last year, where they were showing signs of being competitive in Leinster even before they broke through, it does show them up a bit.
But the real problem in looking at their success is a simple one, what is it that they have beaten? Club football in the county is surely at its worst standard going back to the 90's. In the previous decade you had the three big teams Curry/Harps/Tour driving each other on, with another 6 or 7 teams dipping in and out of title contention but generally able to put it up to any of the three on a given day. And the county champions were able to compete with and occasionally beat the top teams in Connacht. Now you have two teams that contested Connacht finals in a mess, Harps are barely staying in senior but Curry couldn't even manage that. And how many clubs can say that the team they have now is better than what they had in the previous decade? Not too many I'd say. This isn't Tourlestrane's fault of course and it's not something that'll be solved easily or quickly, but it does reflect where football in the county is right now.
The other thing worth noting is that for a team that are so far ahead of the rest in the county, their contribution to the county team has been so limited. Only McIntyre I think played in the championship this year and there was maybe a handful more involved in the panel. Now it's not unusual that a good solid team without any real stars can achieve a lot in many counties, it happens often enough, but surely not to be so far ahead of the pack as they are. The combination of being so far ahead to make the club scene seem so uncompetitive - as probably reflected by such a badly attended county final - along with them then not making any headway in the provincial championship, never mind being genuine contenders, and then not driving the county team on at all, all makes for a very frustrating picture.
ChasingShadows (Sligo) - 04/11/2019 12:39:54
Sligo JFC 2006 Winners - 2 Like(s)
Yeah it would make for better standard of championships across the board if they trimmed them back to 8 each, with the rest in Junior B, which would be improved too as more reliable second teams would be competing in it then. The Junior A as it is is weak enough except for the fact that Easkey couldn't arrest their slide, but unless Collooney can stop them they'll bounce back up. But the hammerings that those two teams dished out in their Junior groups are like what was happening a few years ago in Intermediate before the numbers were cut, so change will be needed to get that grade to bemore competitive, even if it is far better than what it used to be ten years ago.
If you had an 8-8-8 arrangement this year we could have lined up like this:
Senior - Tourlestrane, Mary's, Tubbercurry, Harps, Mullinabreena, Coolera, Calry, Molaise.
Intermediate - Curry, Drumcliffe, John's, Farnan's, Geevagh, Shamrock Gaels, Castleconnor, Bunninadden.
Junior A - Enniscrone, Pat's, Michael's, Easkey, Ballymote, Tourlestrane, Owenmore Gaels, Cloonacool.
Junior B- Curry, Harps, Mary's and the rest in it this year.
Would make for far better competition in my view.
ChasingShadows (Sligo) - 12/09/2018 12:11:24