Who would have thought that pushing a boy into the girls lavatory could be such a thrill? The screams! The humiliation! The fact that it wasn’t me! I’ve never felt so alive.
There was once a time when the only county humiliated by minnows were our good selves. Kildare, Roscommon, Mayo and Kerry all gorged themselves on the thought of turning over the giants that were the Déise. So for a few glorious minutes it looked like Clare were about to become Carlow’s second scalp in a week. Alas, Jim Greene’s former charges came up just short.
But Carlow’s performances, allied with a ridiculously exciting sequence of results in Division One today where five points separated the three winners from the three losers (and another draw for Waterford, this time with Tipperary), have added grist to a mill of mine, i.e. that these days are a relatively healthy time in the history of hurling. Over the last decade every county has had their share of spectacular wins and horror defeats, a reality that has been disguised by the crushing dominance of Kilkenny.
It’s fair to say that that dominance is not so much a fly in the ointment as a cockroach. But all empires crumble eventually and if the teams below stay sufficiently clustered together then we have a Division Two competitive enough that no one wants to fall into it for fear of not being able to get out of it. While not on a par with the mid 1990’s when there was a five year period where the All-Irelands were divvied up between Offaly, Clare and Wexford, it still represents progress on the days when Waterford could go down two divisions with barely a murmur.
Now if only someone could crush the bloody cockroach.