Why should a team be punished for scoring goals?
Donegal Ladies are not in the Lidl National League semi-final because of a bizarre rule which punished them for scoring goals.
Indeed, they scored more than any other team in Division One and conceded less than any other team. They finished with a points difference of +64, 30 points better than the best of the four teams that have reached the semi-final.
Yet they are not in the last four - because in their head to head with Galway, the Connacht side scored more points than Donegal in their drawn encounter in Glenfin. The game ended Donegal 1-13, Galway 0-16. With Donegal and Galway ending in joint fourth place in the table on 13 points, Galway, thanks to this bizarre rule, are in the semi-final.
In the final league table, Donegal have a better score difference over Galway of 50 points!
It seems a cruel twist. It is a rule that the Ladies Board must look at.
Donegal can build on a very good league and should look forward with great confidence to the championship.
Behind closed doors
It seems that U-20 teams are now going to mirror the seniors in preparation for their big championship game, by playing behind closed doors.
Our U-20s played Sligo in a challenge in Ballyshannon on Friday evening last with the gates closed. It is believed the Donegal boys won the game.
But why are development teams wanting to play behind closed doors? On a lovely evening, why not allow the home supporters to check out the team? Would it not be better preparation before going out in front of a big crowd in a knock-out championship?
It is a long held belief that the preparation of underage teams should be about developing players and not all about winning. That is especially so at U-20 level (or U-21 as it was before). Nowadays there is up to six months preparation time for one game. Just think about it.
What is happening at senior level is being mirrored at all levels. I’m not saying that player development is being downplayed, but the question must be asked: Is player development coming second to winning?
Donegal U-20s are due to play Cavan in the preliminary round in Ulster. That game is fixed for Sunday, 27th May and was to be a home game for Donegal, but if Donegal seniors were to defeat Cavan in their big clash on May 13th, the U-20 game may be played as a curtain-raiser to the Derry-Donegal senior clash in Celtic Park.
County players get raw deal from club supporters
I was in Towney on Sunday for a one-sided club game between Kilcar and Aodh Ruadh. It was a game where Patrick McBrearty was able to take it pretty easy, yet he scored 0-5. He didn’t have to go full throttle.
Yet, you hear murmurings from Kilcar supporters that he wasn’t putting everything into it.
Club supporters can have short memories and also be very harsh critics. Do they not remember how McBrearty pulled them over the line to win the Dr. Maguire just a little over six months ago?
Very few of them would also take into account that McBrearty took a full part in a county training session on Saturday, his third at a very high level for the week. In any other sport, Sunday would be a day of recovery and rest.
That he turned out to lead his club side the following day is pretty impressive, not forgetting those five points.
Puts a different perspective on the old club versus county dilemma.
Will Rory McIlroy ever get that Green Jacket? Will he ever get a better chance than Sunday last? But when it came down to the final round, he lost his game.
But overall, what a sporting event, especially if you experience it through the eyes of Peter Alliss and the BBC. I’m not sure if Alliss will be around for much longer, but his one liners will remain the highlight of the weekend.
Speaking of Michael Murphy lookalike, Jon Rahm, he said: "Trousers full of legs, my mum would have said.
Come to think of it, not a bad description for Murphy either!
Peter Alliss makes watching golf much more enjoyable. Unfortunately, Sky are dominating the coverage of the sport and are likely to do so forever.
But we should enjoy Alliss while he is still with us.