Congratulations To Cork’s Camogie Teams But The Game Of Camogie As
Exhibited On TV Failed To Attract New Viewers Due To Sub Standard
Watching the camogie girls of Cork at senior and intermediate grades in the 2018 All Ireland finals reminded many viewers of historic Cork hurling victories of times past and the pride generated in the famous rebel jersey. Red was certainly the colour that lit up Croke Park on Sunday 9th September 2018 and in recent years it has been the sporting women of Cork who preserved and promoted the rebel sports flame at national levels at Croke Park.
Down, a county who deserve enormous credit for their promotion of camogie north of the border, were unfortunate to be facing Cork in the intermediate final and had Down played any other county in the final, they had the skill and passion to achieve All Ireland glory.
The immediate future of Cork camogie seems assured between the current combination of players at intermediate and senior grades and with Cork now required to source an entire new squad in the intermediate grade for 2019, at first glance that seems a rule out of order.
Kilkenny again left Cork off the hook losing by a single point but this senior final will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. The stand out feature of the senior final was the stop/start style of the game caused by a referee who was clearly out of his depth at this grade.
In 2016 the camogie chiefs had the same referee at the helm for the final and whilst Kilkenny were victorious on that occasion, that final also had an inept performance of refereeing. It appears first class camogie referees are simply not available and those trusted with examining candidates for duty, simply do not have the right pool of officials. With the game commanding major TV exposure on the big day, viewers not too familiar with camogie rules were left pondering, how players could perform at their best in such sloppy decisions.
To Cork we tender our congratulations on a magnificent double and the closely knit camogie families all over Cork received an enormous boost going forward for the promotion of the game in the rebel county. Several girls in the intermediate team shone an illuminating beacon, suggesting they will be more than capable of stepping up to the senior grade very soon and with the upcoming 2019 season on the horizon, opportunities will surface to unleash more new Cork talent.
The intermediate game was far more enjoyable and for TV viewers it was the showpiece of the day, with the quality of Cork’s goals a joy to behold. To Down and Kilkenny commiserations and with a few rule tweaks here and there, camogie has the potential to finally command greater support from fans of gaelic games at inter county levels.
Abandoning the hurley to make a hand pass must be considered as a “No Go” and surely it’s not too big a task to hand goalkeepers a stand out jersey to enable greater exposure/identity of the goalkeepers skills and also players should be permitted to exert a little more physicality in the challenge.
On a final examination of the finals, it is a travesty of injustice that for the ordinary everday sports fan, why wait till final days to grab attention all over Ireland for camogie.
The finals are the showpieces but it is most noticeable, that RTE Sport, on their regular Sunday Game shows, all through the championship season, relegate Camogie and Ladies Football to a flimsy mention at the tail-end of their shows. That is only a token gesture by RTE and as a TV station that demand national TV license fees, their focus is anything but neutral when applied to our national games of Camogie and Ladies Football and we seldom witness handball on an RTE screen.
So much time is allocated to Soccer and Rugby by RTE for sports played outside of Ireland, it beggars belief how they can command a national TV license fee from viewers and spend enormous sums to claim broadcasting rights at the expense of Ireland’s national games. However, just like the camogie refereeing, when you don’t showcase your sport in the best manner, TV stations will walk away.
Derry JF Doody