Kevin Cassidy

KEVIN CASSIDY: Quarter-final borefests

AND then there were four. Last weekend’s games went pretty much as we thought they would apart from the one massive upset which we will get into later.

A lot of people have been critical of the Armagh performance, but to me, they did exactly what they had to do in order to get over a critical game in their season.

Make no mistake about it, this was a massive game in terms of showing that they could do it when the stakes were at their highest.

If Armagh came out on the wrong side of the game then there would have been massive question marks hanging over the players and, in particular, the manager.

Armagh are now right back where they wanted to be after their Ulster final defeat, and now they have the perfect opportunity to show the rest of the country how good they actually are.

Donegal got the job done in comfortable fashion in the end. To be honest, it was exactly how we thought it would go. Louth, in fairness, made it difficult for periods, but Donegal were always going to pull away in the end.

I don’t think anyone would be foolish enough to read too much into the Donegal performance because Jim McGuinness has clearly stated in the past that during big games he was already planning for the next one so I’m sure Galway will be in full alert.

If you are asking for my honest opinion, then I think Donegal operated at around 60 per cent because there’s no hope on earth that Galway will be allowed that much space and freedom in the next game.

Derry battled hard and tried their best, but much like the Donegal-Louth game, you just got the feeling that Kerry would stretch away heading into the last quarter.

Without going into too much detail, there are massive calls to be made in Derry over the next few weeks, and it will be interesting to see how that unfolds.

Before I move onto the Dublin game, I have to touch on the Kerry and Derry match further because what we saw last weekend was absolutely horrendous to watch.

Now I am not blaming Kerry because as their players and manager stated after the game, they knew that in order to beat the system they had to play like they did.

Yes, the bigger teams have caught on that going gung-ho against negative, counter-attacking teams just doesn’t work and what we are left with is an absolute horror show. I for one cannot wait until the season is over so that Jim Gavin and his men get to introduce the rules needed to get rid of this borefest.

If we look at the Donegal-Louth game all we saw was handpass, handpass, handpass then we moved on to the Kerry and Derry game and what do we have again? Handpass, handpass, handpass.

Plain and simple, if we want to attract the crowds back to our games we need to bring back the most important skill in our game – the kick pass. If you look at attendances this year then the crowds are voting with their feet.

No-one has any interest in going to watch the absolute bore-fest that most of the big games turn into nowadays.

I am not joking when I say this, but at the minute you can actually skip the first half of the game, you can stay in the pub, have an extra pint walk up to the stadium and you will be there just in time for the last 15 minutes of action, because that’s the only time these games come to life nowadays.

Teams are too concerned with sussing each other out and not giving too much away, and this results in a dull and dreary start to most games.

Anyway, enough about that, hopefully Jim Galvin and the lads will put an end to this nonsense next year.

The big upset of the weekend was Galway turning over the Dubs and I for one didn’t see this coming.

I did say here last week that if Galway had all of their big players fit and ready that they would definitely be a match for the Dubs. but the question marks I had over them was just how fit those big players were.

Damien Comer did okay and Sean Kelly was taken off but Shane Walsh was simply immense and their chances of beating Donegal will depend on whether he plays or not in the semi-final, given he had to go off again versus Dublin.

We have two big semi finals to look forward to and we will touch more on them next week.

This weekend I’m off to Omagh to watch the minor final with TG4 and I have to say I am really looking forward to it because I have heard a lot about both Derry and Armagh and how good they are.

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