Weekend Sport Review
What weekend of sport we have witnessed with numerous Irish sports stars in action across many sports. Whether it was athletics, GAA, football, hockey and any other sport that took place this weekend, you would have been well catered for.
Hockey has burst into the public conscience over the last few weeks with the terrific performances of the Irish team in England at the World Cup. The display of Graham Shaw’s squad has brought much needed attention to another minority sport.
The march to the World Cup Final was made all the more special by the fact that the squad are amateur and are in day jobs or they are in college. Like many amateur sides they make many unknown sacrifices to make their dreams possible.
In Game 1 they defeated the USA 3-1 and got there campaign off to the best possible start from there they beat India 1-0 and in the Final group game they were beaten by the World Cup host’s England 1-0. In the quarter final they beat India 3-1 on penalties after a 0-0 draw, in the semi final they defeated Spain 3-2 on Penalties after an exciting 1-1 draw. Then cue massive celebrations, Ireland made a first ever World Cup Final in any sport male or female.
This is unfortunately where the fairytale results ended with the Netherlands crushing Ireland 6-0 in the Final to win a ninth World Crown. This of course should not take away from what has been a great two weeks for this team.
They came into this tournament dreaming of some big results and stunning some of the so called bigger nations, they did that and more over the last two weeks. The questions of funding and other issues will be highlighted over the coming days with large amounts media coverage from home and abroad.
Let’s hope that the decision makers at Sports Ireland will now sit up and take note of the achievements and at least this may now put there issues to the powers that be and they may just be able to air some grievances. The last two weeks has put the sporting imbalance back to the forefront of people’s minds.
Of course the European Championships are taking place since last Friday in Glasgow and Berlin, they will continue until this Friday. 7 sporting organisations have come together to make this Championship work. It is another chance for our athletes to win medals. Shane Ryan won European bronze in the Pool over the weekend, The O Donovan brothers won European silver in the double skulls.
Over the last few days, many Irish athletes have achieved what they set out to achieve along with the Hockey side who will admit while they would have hoped to achieve certain goals they certainly did that and more by winning World Silver.
Looking to the next few days our athletes will get ready for track action and they will hope to make in impact like the hockey side has just done. It is now defiantly time for the so called “minority” sports in Ireland to rise up and make a statement of intent for the future…..
The weekend belongs to the Hurlers of Galway , camogie players of Tipperary and Galway , the Hockey stars who won Silver in London , the O Donovans who also won Silver and Shane Ryan who won Bronze in the swimming pool… These are the moments in sport we as followers dream of so drink it in, because these days are few and far between….
Cian Mc Gibney