The hottest ticket of the year could be Kildare/Limerick in Newbridge
Hospital Pass gets all philosophical today, with Kildare’s home comforts, debatable points and the (bad) luck of the draw all in our sights.
When is a home draw not a home draw?
Once you enter the back door of the qualifiers anything can await you. A tricky trip to Kerry, a visit to an Ulster stronghold or even, if the Dubs have stumbled somewhere, a visit to Croke Park.
The first priority, for all counties, is a home draw. It instantly puts you into the driving seat and in with a shout, even against the big fish swimming in the early round back waters.
But the mood in Kildare was a little muted when they were pulled out of the drum at home to Limerick for Round Three this morning. Kildare’s county ground is Newbridge but it has Championship capacity of just 4,000 thanks to a Health and Safety audit last year. This has led some to speculate that the game will have to be moved. To Portlaoise.
It is nothing short of scandalous that Kieran McGeeney’s team may have to go to neutral ground as St Conleth’s isn’t up to the task of hosting a reasonably high-profile game. The word from Kildare is that the game will be go ahead in Newbridge at 7pm but Croke Park will make the ultimate call.
If it moves it will be a serious black mark on Kildare. If it stays, demand for tickets will be high to say the least.
When is a point not a point?
Thanks to the two-point final margin, there isn’t huge talk today about Colm Boyle’s score in the closing stages of the Connacht final. But it looked wide at the time, it looked wide on the replay and now, just for all you Sligo fans, here it is so you can watch it as many times as you like. It still looks wide by the way.
The result won’t change but you can store it up as fuel for your Round Four Qualifier with Kildare or Limerick.
The (bad) luck of the draw
Have a heart for Limerick hurlers today. After being narrowly beaten by Tipp on their first outing this summer they have steadily improved with wins over Laois, Antrim and Clare. Their reward for all that effort was the sight of Kilkenny coming out of the drum this morning.
John Allen’s heart may have sank and if they somehow overcome Kilkenny they will face Tipperary again. Win that (go with us here) and after six games they will be in All Ireland. No medals, just in a final. It doesn’t get any tougher than that so if the Treaty manage to win Liam this year it will surely be the hardest won All-Ireland ever, right?