What they said ... the weekend in quotes

02 October 2017

Kilcoo joint-captain's Darragh O'Hanlon and Darryl Branagan celebrate along with young fans after their side's Down SFC final victory over Burren at Pairc Esler, Newry.
©INPHO/Matt Mackey.

“With all due respect to some of the smaller counties that spoke here in favour of the motion, I think they have little knowledge of the impact that this will have on a county like Cork or Dublin where we have a lot of clubs.”

Strong dual counties are going to be under pressure going forward after the hurling championship revamp received the green light, according to Cork chairman Ger Lane.

“How many games in Dublin or in Mayo or Galway hurling are played during the summer? I'd say the number of club championship games played is very few. Now, they can start their championship if they want to in April, they'll have a four or five-week gap and they'll be finished an awful lot earlier. I don't see how that's a problem - I see that as a positive opportunity, I think counties will embrace that.”

GAA Director General Paraic Duffy had a different take on the status quo.

“There are facts that are incontrovertible - there are now more weekends free for club. If you're going to start (the inter-county championship) in May and finish in mid-August there are going to be an awful lot more weekends.”

President Aogan O Fearghail echoed those sentiments.

“I'm excited about it. I'd love to be part of this as a player, where you're playing big championship matches at home in front of your own supporters with two home matches and two away matches.”

The new hurling structure received the thumbs up from RTE pundit Michael Duignan.

“We have great respect and admiration for Stephen Cluxton. Dublin will innovate yet again to make their kick-outs interesting and make them relevant. At the end of the day, every team wants to maintain possession from the kick-out. This motion doesn't seek to change it, we just want to make the short kick-out slightly longer.”

Standing Rules Committee Chairman Jarlath Burns explained the thinking behind the introduction of the new kick-out rule in gaelic football.

“People's opinions are their opinions and the one that really counts for us is the opinions of our clubmates and we're just happy to share the player's' success with them.”

Criticism from the likes of Paul Kimmage and Eamon Dunphy doesn't cost Jim Gavin a second thought.

“We have over 100 training sessions done. I knew by them in the last two weeks that they were up for the game.”

Former All-Ireland winning goalkeeper Stephen Byrne guided Kilcormac-Killoughey to a fourth Offaly SHC success.

“The damage done in the ten minutes before half-time left us with a lot to do and in fairness to the lads, they died with their boots on, you couldn't be prouder of the effort they put in.”

St Rynagh's manager Fintan O'Connor was left to rue a lack-lustre first-half display as they trailed by 0-5 to 2-10 at half-time.

“This was a massive thing for Kilcoo, six in-a-row. Today, we created a wee bit of history in the county Down and that's what we wanted to do.”

Under Paul McIver, Kilcoo equalled the Down SFC six-in-a-row record set by Burren in the eighties.

“They are seriously experienced. I hope they do go on and win Ulster. That team deserves an Ulster.”

Defeated Burren boss Paddy O'Rourke hopes the Magpies can go all the way in Ulster.

“Last year we had learned a bit tactically, we were a bit naive the first year and went gung-ho for it. But as a club we want to go and win an Ulster championship. We believe we have the players here and the squad as good as anything in Ulster and we will be going out to give it a good rattle.”

Derrygonnelly completed a Fermanagh SFC three-in-a-row and manager Martin Greene has set his sights on a bigger prize.




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