Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Adrian Logan: The great North-South divide

WAS it just me or did last week's enthralling All-Ireland semi final clash between Kerry and Dublin not contain some very unacceptable pieces of action along with some super pieces of play?

Dare I say if the likes of Armagh and Tyrone had served up a first-half like last week we would never have heard the end of it here in the North.

There were several nasty flare -ups and then we had so many instances of Dublin players yelling at opponents when they had failed to take their scores.

That was cheap and nasty and yet we had very little debate among the many pundits in print and on TV and radio.

Colm O'Rourke was the only one on TV who said the actions of the Dublin players were unacceptable.

Too often in the past Northern players have been singled out for doing a lot less.

We had skirmishes throughout and yet we ended being fed the usual diet of how this was yet another great chapter in the rich tapestry of the Dublin v Kerry saga.

Now let me say that I enjoyed the game, warts and all. I would just hope for a little more balance when it comes to coverage.

Why don't the GAA take action over the nasty little incidents in the game?

How come the players who resort to un-gentlemanly conduct are allowed to go scot-free?

Why are they not brought before a committee accused of bringing the game into disrepute? You wonder why and you wonder why there is such a deafening silence from the media in the South.

Now I'm not saying it's a Northern bias but if the caps fits.......

We also had incidents where Paul Galvin should have been red-carded.

He got away with it and yet again there is no talk whatsoever of that incident. He will be allowed to get away in the smoke and once more the GAA disciplinary code will be ignored.

If the GAA wants to get real about the game and wants to improve the image they should deal with those incidents and deal with them now.

Punish the players by making them miss championship matches.

That's the only way you will get any sort of respect for the game and officials which the top brass say they want and need.

Kerry moved into the All Ireland and deservedly so. They were the better team and as I said last week they had the better bench and that was crucial in the end.

I would add, though, that Kerry's performance against an over-rated Dublin side was loose enough. Cork will think they are in with a real chance.

As to this weekend's Hurling final, it has to be Kilkenny to win again.

Limerick have brought the romance this season but Kilkenny will take home the trophy. Predictable I know but there you are.

The last remnants of northern interest in the championship sphere lie with the Derry Minors.

They should have won last week against Laois and allowed good leads to slip through their fingers.

I hope they have learned their lesson. Derry deserve a break this season and they deserve a place in the All Ireland final.

The only other Northern team in action will be the Ladies of Tyrone who play Mayo also in the All Ireland semi-final.

Mayo will go into the game as favourites but Tyrone will have been given a huge boost of confidence after hammering Ulster champions Armagh in the quarter final.

With the evergreen Eilish Gormley in their ranks anything is possible and if goalscoring machine Gemma Begley is on target then there could be an upset.

Rangers can draw more comfort from Euro mission

NOT a bad draw all round in the Champions League.

Rangers will be over the moon at landing Barcelona while Celtic will have glamour ties against defending champions AC Milan and Benfica.

It's unlikely that either side will progress but of the two at this early stage of the season Rangers look to be the team in better nick.

Gordan Strachan was talking about the great atmosphere against Spartak Moscow at Parkhead but that disguised a Celtic team who for me were predictable and almost one -paced.

To get through against the Moscow side was a fine achievement but I don't think that Celtic are looking all that healthy this season.

Walter Smith has moved in over the city at Ibrox and Rangers look to be a different team.

They have a huge work rate and achieved once more against Red Star Belgrade.

Fair play to them.

I'm sure the Rangers fans will enjoy Barcelona but you can't see them getting much return out of that one.

In the other sections Manchester United will be delighted with their group draw.

They should have little problems progressing into the last sixteen and will enjoy once more the chance to put Roma in their place after the violence of last season.

Arsenal too will be into the last sixteen of the competition. Their group looks one of the easiest on paper and they should make it through.

It's probably the same old story for the millionaires of Chelsea who may find it tough enough against Valencia but will go into the hat for the next section, as will Liverpool.

Last year I said no English side would win the Champions League and that's an opinion I will stick to this season.

The teams are good enough for the last eight and one may make the semi-finals but I don't think they will win. They don't appear to have the temperament to win at Europe's top table.

Logan's Hero of the Week: Stuart Elliot

HERO of the week goes to one of the Northern Ireland stars Stuart Elliott.

Midweek he scored a stunning winner against Wigan in the Carling Cup for Hull and it was great to see him back in goalscoring form.

A few seasons ago he was on fire before going back because of injury and a loss of form.

His goal was a cracker and it was great to see him celebrate once more.

Good news for Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington.

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