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Latest Hurling Stories from the Irish Independent Website

'Cha' latest blow for Shamrocks
Daly ends Kerry job talk
Now Cody goes for hat-trick
Brennan hits back at Ó Cinnéide over player grants
Athenry and Cashel clash to wrap up season

New Christy Ring Book by Tim Horgan
November 15th, 2007. [ Comments: 2 ]

Have to give a mention to the new Christy Ring book - by Tim Horgan. A great book on the legendary man who is undoubtedly the greatest hurler ever.

This is the book’s description:

“Christy Ring from Cloyne, County Cork, is regarded as the greatest hurler of all time. His mastery of the skills of hurling was equalled only by his dedication to Cork. He won eight senior All-Ireland medals and eighteen Railway Cup medals in his 24-year career before retiring from inter-county hurling aged 43. Against him no game was won until the final whistle. He always tried to do the impossible.

Tim Horgan traces his playing career with its many highlights and captures his unique charisma that excited and attracted people to him. It pays due respect to his opponents and the drab conditions in which all lived and played. Included is Ben Kiely’s report on Christy playing at the opening of Casement Park, Belfast, in 1953, and a fascinating interview before the 1953 All-Ireland. It is a lively, affectionate account of his lifelong commitment to hurling, embellished with memories of great players and personalities, and glorious games won and lost.”

And here are two great quotes

As long as young people swing their camán for the sheer thrill of the tingle in their fingers of the impact of ash on leather, the story of Christy Ring will be told.
Jack Lynch at Christy Ring’s graveside.

Tis a sin to bury that man.
Woman at Ring’s removal

If you don’t pick it up yourself make sure someone gets it for you for christmas!

Weekend Club Fixtures for November 18th
November 14th, 2007. [ Comments: 5 ]

The club fixtures for this weekend are:

Sunday November 18th
Leinster Senior Club Semi Finals
Ballyhale Shamrocks (Kilkenny) v Birr (Offaly) - 2pm, Kilkenny
Ballyboden St.Endas (Dublin) v Camross (Laois) - 2.15pm, Parnell Park

Munster Senior Club Semi Finals
Ballyduff Upper (Waterford) V Tulla (Clare) - Ennis 2pm
Adare (Limerick) V Loughmore Castleiney (Tipp) - Gaelic Grounds 2pm.

Connacht Senior Club Final
Portumna (Galway) v Ballina James Stephens (Mayo)

Camogie All Ireland Senior Club Final
Athenry (Galway) v Cashel (Tipperary) - 12.15, Gaelic Grounds Limerick

Camogie All Ireland Junior Club Final
Harps (Laois) v Keady (Armagh) - 2pm, Stabannon Louth

Should be two good semi finals in Leinster. Ballyhale could be under pressure to maintain their hold on the Leinster and All Ireland crowns given the absence of their big two, Henry and Cha, and given their poor performance last day against Mount Leinster Rangers. Birr are always strong in the club campaign. In the other game Ballyboden will be on a high after the win over Oulart and with home advantage again should probably be a bit too strong for Camross, although the Laois team will be gunning for a final spot having been out of the limelight for a long time on the club front. I’ll go for a Birr v Ballyboden final.

Portumna shouldn’t have any trouble winning the Connacht title, I’m sure Ballina will put up a good fight but the firepower of Portumna will be way too much for them.

The Camogie club finals are on aswell. Not sure why they aren’t both in the same venue but that’s the Camogie for you! Athenry disposed of three-in-a-row winners Freshford in their semi final while Cashel had a big win over O’Donnovan Rossa from Antrim. It’s a hard one to call, both teams seem to have plenty of forward power with Cashel’s ace being recent all star Clare Crogan and Athenry’s being Connacht young player of the year Jessica Gill. In the Junior it’s a repeat of last year’s final where Harps from Laois beat Keady of Armagh. The Armagh team should be able to muster a strong support given that the game is in Louth but the Laois team probably have the better shooting power. I’ll go for Cashel and Harps wins.

UPDATE 15/Nov: Just added the Munster semi finals - thanks to the painter in the comments. The Ballyduff Upper v Tulla one seems hard to call, to a non - munster man anyway - given both are relatively new on the scene but I’ll pick Ballyduff given their impressive win over Ballygunner in the Waterford final. Loughmore Castleiney will probably be favourites to see off Adare, given that Limerick final was by all accounts a poor game and Loughmore have already beaten the Cork champions.

Gaelic Games Hurling Review Part 2
November 12th, 2007. [ Comments: 6 ]

After my initial thoughts on the game on Friday last I’ve spent the last couple of days playing it a lot more and can offer a more rounded opinion now. I have to say that I like it, while it may not be in any way comparable to the top games of today or even the sports sims like FIFA it’s still a fun game to play and if you’re a hurling fan then you’ll get plenty of enjoyment from it.

I think the best part is that the gameplay is easy to pick up and the controls easy to handle so there’s no steep learning curve, you can pick up and play straight away. Then as you get more proficent you easily change the options to go up a difficulty level or turn off some of the automatic helpers.
The teams are graded as you would expect so the likes of Kilkenny and Cork are easy to play with (or tough to play against).

There are plenty of modes to add some longevity, I’m currently in the midst of a full season playing as Tipperary although I’ve made a slow start to the league drawing with Limerick and losing to Kilkenny by 2 points. Antrim are next up so I’ll be expecting to beat them. There’s a cool little missions mode where you have to try complete a mission for each county revolving around one game, for eaxmple with Kilkenny it’s to win the 1939 All Ireland, or with Limerick it’s to try prevent Offaly’s comback in 94 etc.
The multiplayer option should allow for some fun with a few mates but I haven’t had a chance to try that yet.

Graphics are basic - no Halo 3 competition but passable - players are plain but you can see the swing of the hurley has been captured reasonably well. The stadiums are nicely recreated. There are weather effects too so in the middle of a rainy game you’ll see mud on the players.

Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh adds the commentary again, pretty basic stuff but it’s a nice effect all the same.

There are no real player names in it because the GPA weren’t involved but all the players are editable so you can change the names to your heart’s content. I’d started changing a few but it gets a bit tedious.

Overall, if you’ve no interest in hurling you’re not going to think much of it I’d imagine, but for any hurling fans I think it’s a nice little buy and a very enjoyable game.

2007 Camogie All Stars
November 11th, 2007. [ Comments: none ]

The 2007 Camogie All Star team was announced last night in Citywest. The team is:

1. Mags D’Arcy (Wexford)
2. Eimear Brannigan (Dublin)
3. Catherine O’Loughlin (Wexford)
4. Rose Collins (Limerick)
5. Rena Buckley (Cork)
6. Mary Leacy (Wexford)
7. Catriona Foley (Cork)
8. Gemma O’Connor (Cork)
9. Philly Fogarty (Tipperary)
10. Veronica Curtin (Galway)
11. Aisling Diamond (Derry)
12. Jennifer O’Leary (Cork)
13. Kate Kelly (Wexford)
14. Claire Grogan (Tipperary)
15. Una Leacy (Wexford)

The breakdown by county is Wexford 5, Cork 4, Tipperary 2 and 1 each for Derry, Dublin, Galway and Limerick.

Wexford’s Stellah Sinnott won the manager of the year award and Limerick’s Niamh Mulcahy won the young player of the year award.

The special guest for the night was rugby star Gordon D’Arcy - who not surprisingly was a hit with all the players!

Gaelic Games Hurling Review - First Thoughts
November 9th, 2007. [ Comments: 1 ]

Just been bashing around with the new hurling game on the PS2. It’s a bit early to rush to judgement but some early thoughts are that the gameplay is easy to pick up but the graphics are pretty poor.

It seems much easier to play than the original football game, after 1 training session I was hitting goals and points without too much trouble (admittedly playing as Kilkenny against Mayo). Even my girlfriend, who’s barely touched a video game in her life, was able to win a game at the first attempt. The game has automated a lot of the difficult features such as rising the ball, soloing and winning possession so straight away it’s eliminated a lot of the unique skills of hurling. There’s no real artistry to striking either, just tap the button and watch the strength and accuracy meters. That being said it’s nice to be able to pick up and play straight away without going through a huge learning curve.

There’s a huge range of game types to choose from, all the counties are available and there’s even a club mode with around 10 clubs from each county. However I don’t know what criteria they used to pick the clubs - they seem to be almost randomly chosen, not caring whether they’re predominately football clubs. Given that the game has no real player names (and no player likeness) they could at least have gotten the clubs right.

One nice little feature is a mission mode for each county where you have to try and complete some task. It’s normally a major game from a counties past where you have to try and reproduce their great win or change the course of history by turning around a defeat.

Here’s a couple of dodgy screenshots from the game…

hurling screen shot 1

hurling screen shot 2

I’ll post back again on Sunday or Monday once I’ve played it a bit more to see if there’s any longevity in it and what the full season modes are like.

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