No One on Board with the Railway

Daily Mail (London), February 20, 2012 | Go to article overview

No One on Board with the Railway


Byline: PAUL KEANE reports from Parnell Park

Munster 1-16 Leinster 1-13 THE most elaborate training session of the year? That's certainly how it felt at times yesterday as the cream of Leinster and Munster football enjoyed a kick in front of only a few hundred fans.

In fairness to the players on show, they gave their very best and were obviously proud to represent their province. The big problem was that nobody really seemed to care as barely 500 turned up on what was a fine afternoon.

Munster manager Ger O'Sullivan claimed he was surprised even that much were present, given the lack of marketing of the game.

Still, it's hard to fathom how a game that involved seven All-Ireland-winning Dublin players, on their home pitch, and with Alan Brogan as Leinster captain, failed to muster up even a modicum of interest.

Surely anybody with even a passing interest in Gaelic football would be keen to see Bernard Brogan, Graham Canty, Paddy Keenan and Tomas O Se all competing against each other? Obviously not.

It is tempting to suggest that a little of that apathy found its way into the Leinster defence early on because they did a good impression of stationary objects as Munster ran rings around them.

It took Leinster 17 minutes to grab their first score, through Bernard Brogan, and in that time Munster had racked up 1-5 -- Clare's David Tubridy emerged as the unlikely game breaker with six points in the first half.

In defence of Leinster, they didn't have any training sessions before hand -- Munster played a mid-week challenge match -- and both Alan and Bernard Brogan can't have been match fit having not started for Dublin in the League so far.

Bernard still chipped in with six points but Alan was unable to pull the strings from centre-forward and, generally, Leinster suffered from the lack of a killer final ball from this position.

A Paddy Keenan inspired Leinster did fight back impressively late on and there were just two between them with five minutes to go but they wasted too many passes around the scoring zone.

Those who turned up certainly cared about the result but with such a small crowd the encouraging words of Leinster selector Ciaran McManus were clearly audible throughout, lending to that training match feel.

'There was no marketing done really, okay there was a bit done in the past week but not a whole lot,' said Munster manager O'Sullivan. 'Someone only told me this morning that if you brought along two kids then an adult would get in free. Like, I didn't even know that. …

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