Since the time of Na Fianna, Ireland's ancient sport of hurling was used to practise and refine the art of war. Today the tradition continues, the tribal passions remain and hurling is Ireland's greatest spectator sport. But are great hurlers born or made? What are the key elements of hurling greatness? In these pages hurling is defined by modern heroes, current and former players, managers and coaches. The result is an analysis of the fundamental skills and qualities needed, the first attempt to demystify the art of hurling. Donal A"g Cusack, Pat Hartigan, Sean McMahon, Ray Cummins, Nicky English, Liam Griffin, Henry Shefflin and many others discuss the finer points and skills that make the perfect player. They recall great performances, great exponents, tricks and tactics, and openly offer advice. The result is a must-read for hurling fans, a handbook for coaches, and insights for those who want to understand this ancient game renowned for the sportsmanship and kinship of those who play it.
From Ballyhea, County Cork, Diarmuid O'Flynn is a full-time sports journalist with the Irish Examiner. His hurling career highlights were junior and intermediate county championship medals with his native Ballyhea. He followed the fortunes of nearby Newtownshandrum with some envy and traced them in his book, Club, Sweat & Tears - The Newtown Story.
Acknowledgements A Brief Introduction to Hurling 1 Goalkeeper - The Gamekeeper - Noel Skehan (Kilkenny); Seamus Durack (Clare); Donal Og Cusack (Cork); Christy O'Connor (Clare); 2 Right-Corner-Back - The Terrier - Phil 'Fan' Larkin (Kilkenny); Brian Murphy (Cork); Michael Kavanagh (Kilkenny); 3 Full-Back - The Gatekeeper - Pat Hartigan (Limerick); Brian Lohan (Clare); Diarmuid O'Sullivan (Cork); Stephen Lucey (Limerick); 4 Left-Corner-Back - The Lurcher - John Horgan (Cork); Martin Hanamy (Offaly); Ollie Canning (Galway); 5 Right-Half-Back - The Sweeper - Pete Finnerty (Galway); Brian Whelahan (Offaly); Liam Doyle (Clare); 6 Centre-Back - The Pivot - Pat Henderson (Kilkenny); Pat McGrath (Waterford); Liam Dunne (Wexford); Seanie McMahon (Clare); 7 Left-Half-Back - The Artiste - Len Gaynor (Tipperary); Denis Coughlan (Cork); Anthony Daly (Clare) 8 & 9 Midfield - The Athletes - Ned Wheeler (Wexford); Richie Bennis (Limerick); Gerald McCarthy (Cork); Patjoe Whelahan (Offaly); Pat Critchley (Laois); John Fenton (Cork); Johnny Pilkington (Offaly) 10 Right-Half-Forward - The Sniper - Jimmy Doyle (Tipperary); Liam Griffin (Wexford and Clare); Johnny Dooley (Offaly); Tommy Dunne (Tipperary); Dan Shanahan (Waterford) 11 Centre-Forward - The Gamebreaker - Joe Cooney (Galway); John Power (Kilkenny); Gary Kirby (Limerick); Martin Storey (Wexford); Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny) 12 Left-Half-Forward - The Wing-man - Frankie Walsh (Waterford); Mick Ryan (Dublin and Cork); Eddie Keher (Kilkenny); Gerard McGrattan (Down); 13 Right-Corner-Forward - The Cornerboys - Mick Bermingham (Dublin); Charlie McCarthy (Cork); Eoin Kelly (Tipperary) 14 Full-Forward - The Rock-Breaker - Ray Cummins (Cork); Joe McKenna (Offaly and Limerick); Liam Fennelly (Kilkenny); Olcan McFetridge (Antrim); D. J. Carey (Kilkenny) 15 Left-Corner-Forward - The Fall-Guy - Eamonn Cregan (Limerick); Nicky English (Tipperary); Ben O'Connor (Cork) Free-Taking; The Hurley; Picking a Team; Qualities Needed - Web Survey; Index
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