A duel – “a prearranged combat between two persons, fought with deadly weapons , according to an accepted code of procedure, especially to settle a private quarrel”

Or

“any contest between two persons or parties”

Now the first one might have often been used to describe a North Kerry league hurling game played in Ballyheigue on a wind swept winters evening in bygone days but the second one is on everyone’s lips this week if you are a fan of Kerry, Clare, Liverpool or Tottenham Hotspur.

How can the GAA fix the Kerry game to clash with the Champions League Final for feck sake? “It will affect the gate”, “Fellas wont travel to Ennis”,       “there will be small crowd at the game Saturday evening” as what I’m hearing all week.

I cant see the locals of Merseyside or North London having the same conversations. Can you ?

Why is it that anytime the GAA clashes with any other sporting main event that proud Irish men pull a Simon Peter on it and disown our National Game. The GAA are expected to change. “Of course they should change the time!”. “Why can’t they move it forward an hour?”.

Is there any realisation that these fixtures were made months ago. Or of the logistical operation that takes place to put on Championship games in our major towns and cities. What it can mean to a town’s economy.

But yet the general chit chat is why can’t the GAA change it. How inconsiderate of them. They don’t care about the fans. You get the drift.

Now I’m not always on board with everything the GAA hierarchy do at various times and I suppose to my detriment at times I will voice it. But I wish people would have more respect for our national games. Have a little more respect for our players. Young men and women that put their lives on hold to train all year around to represent their County with honour. And never forget these people are Amateurs.

Yet at the drop of a hat our so called loyal and proud supporters will drop them to watch another sport. And on TV as well unless you have the means and influence to (a) afford to go or (b) get your hands on a ticket to go to Madrid that is.

The Clare V Kerry game is on in Cusack Park Ennis at 7pm with the Champions League Final at 8.

Now the only logic that could have come into play here to move the game has absolutely nothing to do with the Champions League Final. When the fixtures were made in both codes and when both the Clare footballers and hurlers were both drawn to play at home on the same weekend why is it that someone could not have looked at this and made this a double header on the Sunday. I appreciate TV and perhaps capacity may come into the equation but wouldn’t Clare V Kerry in football followed but Clare V Tipperary in hurling be a great day out for all GAA fans. Was it even looked at or considered. I doubt it.

Now I appreciate many will also have a love of Liverpool or Spurs. I myself am a lifelong Aston Villa fan(and what a great week this is!) and love travelling to Birmingham for games. But not if it was a choice between both codes about being having to choose where I would be. There would ever be one winner there.

So why not go and watch your local heroes in LIVE ACTION in Ennis. Your comrades. Your Clan. Your own. A new young team put together by a new young Management Team (Peter will love that one!). The same guys that you will again give out about if they are beaten or how you can’t get a ticket for the All Ireland final should they get there, and then when the game is over head across the road to a local hostelry and catch the rest of the Liverpool and Spurs game.

The Kerry Team to Play Clare

You won’t have missed that much of it trust me and as its Sky Sports you’ll be well sick of watching repeats of it for the week and months afterwards in any case.

Clare will give as good as they will get Saturday night. The proverbial “kick up the backside” they received against Waterford will re-focus them. Clare’s position in Division 2 of the Allianz league may mis-lead some people. In their 7 games played they may have only won 2 and drawn 1 but it’s in some of their defeats that one should read more into. They gave as good as they got against Meath(who many fancy to have a right cut off the Dubs in Leinster) and they were narrowly defeated by Donegal(many peoples favourites for the Ulster Championship this year).

Cusack Park will be a real cauldron for Kerry lads that may be making their championship debuts. Cusack Park plays tight and Kerry will earn every score. Yes I think Kerry will win but Colm Collins is a shrewd operator so I for one won’t be surprised if it’s a lot tighter than people expect. That however is far from negative preaching as this young Kerry team needs as many challenges as possible if they are to have a real chance of going toe to toe with and dethroning the Dubs. Bringing me to Mr Brolly’s latest fantasy. He nearly managed to turn Ciaran Whelan against the dubs himself last weekend such was his ode of love towards them! Tis far too easy to be waxing lyrically about the best team in the business. There isn’t a whole lot of analysis in that.

Forget Madrid. Our local Gaelic Footballers deserve better this weekend.

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