Hurling Today

This afternoon I had my first experience of watching hurling. I have seen clips of action before, but never a whole game. What a game to start with!

I didn’t actually get to Croke Park to see Galway versus Clare in the All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final but I did the next best thing, which is to watch it in a pub with a few pints of Guinness and a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable crowd.

If you’ve never seen hurling before then the first thing that strikes you is the phenomenal speed at which the game is played. The sliotar (ball) can travel from one end of the pitch to the other in a second and the players have to be extremely fit. Brave too. This is definitely not a game for faint hearts!

Anyway, the game started at 5pm and for the first 15 minutes or so Galway were all over Clare, scoring a goal and 7 points to Clare’s solitary point. It looked like being a very one-sided game, but gradually Clare clawed their way back, so that at half time it was Galway 1-10 to Clare 0-9, a lead of 4 (a goal is worth three points).

The second half saw the Clare fightback continue, and at full time it was level scoring, 1-23 to 0-26. Extra time followed, during which Clare scored a goal, but it ended 1-30 versus 1-30. There will be a replay.

It was raining heavily at the end and both teams looked exhausted but it was immensely exciting to watch, even if it did make me late getting home for dinner.

UPDATE: The second semi-final (on Sunday) was also a cracker that also went to extra time. It finished Limerick 3-32 Cork 2-31. Limerick will play whoever wins the replay of the above match.

3 Responses to “Hurling Today”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    Hurling is a magnificent sport, which I first encountered when Channel 4 (UK) started showed the annual All-Ireland final. Having tuned in casually one year long ago, I then made a point of watching it each year. It’s like field hockey with the less exciting half of the rule book torn out. I know an Irishman, used to hurling, who was once reluctantly persuaded at short notice to play hockey (for the first time) for a team who were one man short. He got sent off after 10 minutes, for doing nothing illegal according to the rules of hurling…

    • telescoper Says:

      In terms of speed and physicality it’s more like ice hockey.
      Most of the rulebook, which is admittedly rather minimal, is identical to Gaelic Football if you swap a hurley for a foot.

  2. […] will take some doing for this match to be as exciting as the Semi-Final I watched a few weeks ago in a pub in Maynooth, but you never know. That game ended in a draw, and Galway won the Replay. The […]

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