Eamonn Cregan, recent GAA Hall of Fame inductee, has lamented what he sees as a reduction in ground hurling and believes the game has changed.
The Mary Immaculate College manager was speaking ahead of his side’s first ever Fitzgibbon Cup quarter final, which takes place against DIT on Monday. The Limerick All-Ireland winner believes we have lost some of the skills that were ever-present in times gone by and there is a focus on getting the ball into the hand and scoring points. “The speed of the game has increased enormously so therefore there is no space. We have lost some of the skills like ground hurling. Some of the best goals last year were scored off the ground and people were looking in awe at it but they were part and parcel of our game.”
Cregan commented that he was also worried by the decline in other fundamental skills, such as hooking and blocking. “Hooking, blocking..The battling seems to have gone out of it as well. To me, it’s tremendously exciting but the thing I worry about is the number of points that are scored…That, to me, means there is somebody not doing their job. The game has certainly changed.”
Cregan admitted that the game has changed in recent times but reinforced his belief that ground hurling still has a part to play. “It’s not the be-all and end-all but there are times when you need to let the ball go on the ground”. The Limerick man appears to feel strongly about the topic and his high opinion of the ground game is evident in the high tempo hurling that has enabled his Mary I side to qualify for the Fitzgibbon Cup quarter-final. It will be interesting to see if the college can benefit further from this exciting brand of hurling and continue their fairytale with a win over DIT.