By Sean Creedon
The GAA have already decided to copy soccer by using the yellow and red cards during the upcoming National League campaign. Now following the error by Galway referee Jimmy Cooney in the replay of the All-Ireland hurling semifinal, they could decide to adopt the time-keeping policy used during the recent World Cup. At the end of normal time in France, a fourth official held up a board indicating to the referee and spectators the number of minutes of injury time to be added.
The recent Croke Park fiasco was an accident waiting to happen and maybe it’s time to give the referees some real help from the sideline. In the game in question, Clare’s hurlers were beating Offaly, 1-16 to 2-10, when Cooney mysteriously called a halt to the proceedings with two minutes left in regulation and at least two minutes of injury time remaining.
The game had to be replayed, and Offaly prevailed on Sunday, 0-16 to 0-13.
FAI clubs shut out
All four FAI National League clubs are now out of European competitions. Cork City, who took a 2-1 lead to the Ukraine last Thursday, were beaten 2-0 by CSKA Kiev. Cork go the same way as Shelbourne, St. Patrick’s Athletic and Shamrock Rovers, but this year the Irish clubs did put up much better performances and helped raise the profile of the FAI National League.
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For the first time ever, Sunday’s All-Ireland camogie final will be televised live by RTE. Cork, who beat Galway in the final last year, will be favorites to make it two in a row over the Tribes’ ladies.
Christy Roche, the Tipperary-born jockey, announced his retirement from the saddle at the Tralee Festival last week. The 40-year-old Roche was seven-time Irish champion and won 12 Irish classics, two in Britain and one each in France and Italy. He will now concentrate on training.
Cahalane for Clare?
Former Cork star Niall Cahalane is believed to be in with a good chance of getting the job as manager of the Clare senior footballers. The other candidate who has got a second interview with the Clare people responsible for appointing a new man to replace John O’Keeffe is Galway’s Michael Brennan.
Schumacher may leave Jordan
Eddie Jordan has rejected claims that his German-born driver Ralf Schumacher has signed a four-year deal with Williams. According to German newspapers, Schumacher has agreed to join the Williams team as part of a request from BMW that they have a German driver. BMW are to supply engines to Williams from the year 2000 and Schumacher is tipped as a replacement for fellow German Heinz-Harald Frentzen.
Jordan admits that he could lose Schumacher and says that his future will be decided by the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on Sept. 13. Meanwhile, next Sunday Schumacher will be hoping to keep up the recent good form of himself and fellow Jordan driver Damon Hill at the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa.
Mullins sure to step down
Former Dublin star Brian Mullins is almost certain to step down as manager of the Derry senior footballers. Mullins, who now teaches in Donegal, has completed his three-year term with the Oak Leaf county during which time he won an Ulster and National League title. Eamonn Coleman, who was sacked by Derry in 1994 says he would be willing to return, but it’s unlikely that the Derry County Board would bring him back. And Coleman’s former assistant Mickey Moran is staying with Sligo.
Munster’s chances good
Of the Irish teams Munster appear to have the best chances of reaching the knock-out stages of the European Rugby Cup. Munster are drawn with Padova, Perpignan and Neath. Ulster are paired with Edinburgh Reivers, Toulouse and Ebbw Vale, while Leinster are paired with Llanelli, Stade Francis and Belges/Bordeaux. Connacht will play in the European Shield.