Friday , June 18 2021

Cross beat from its own system at the last push

There are sacred cows in the GAA, and one of the most politically inaccurate for slaughter is the style of the football game Krstmaglen Rangers.

Which is why you will probably never see a column listing any criticisms about it.

And here you will not be here, but any reasonable assessment of Sunday's defeat to Gault Dobhar will show that for this game, the traditional Cross style was not suitable for a goal.

For most, this will be heresy. No matter how Crosmaglen is for football, the praise that has helped them is approaching the levels of propaganda.

Serious football men in that club are upset with this.

In fact, the tactics of Joe Kernan for returning Coleman O'Neill to the third midfielder and falling Tony McInty as a defensive screen in the late '90s was the prototype of the modern scavenger.

Even in this Campaign of the Ulster Club, when Coalisland lost two red card players, Kromsaglen deployed his spare people as scavengers.

After Sunday's defeat, Crosby co-manager Donal Murtagh said: "We do not apologize for going out to play football in the way we play, and today it was not our day."

It was not their day because they came with a team that, although they maintained a structured defense with Emon McGee and Dan McBride as scavengers, had a large number of forward creations overlapping.

Knowing that Crossmaglen wanted to play a man for a man and to maintain a high press in the hands of a gifted player such as Ohran Maknialis when he has the pace and skills of Cian Mulligan, Dara OBaoill, Michael Carroll and Odhran McFadden-Ferry bombing the field .

A few examples. In the 10th minute, McNaiah carried his fist during the reach of the marker of Dara Obaol, Stephen Morris.

OBaoill collected and drove directly for the goals, and with the attackers of Gahot Dobhar running to the wings they followed their markers, instead of maintaining a zone defense.

The result was OBaoill give a free kick and he took his goal well.

Two minutes later, with this warning, Emon McGee was sent clear and only about Garvan Carragher's withdrawal, clinging to his heels, the defense was wide open.

Despite these warnings, a minute later, Naois Obaoill took the ball from Dara Obaoil, with nothing to the side.

Given that he was not marked, he could run to 60 meters and finish the net again.

The manager of Gault Dobhar, Mervin O'Donel, identified the rigidity of the Kromstaglen game plan and discovered it.

"There was a huge space between the midfield and the whole line forwards, and they invited us to do so, and maybe we did look better than we were," he said later.

"I guess we did our video analysis and everything else, but we did not expect to see how much space was between the attacker and the midfield."

The general Gallian football audience is deceived when talking about different styles of play, as if there is only one means of playing, and the game is cheaper by deviation from this.

But just as "styles make struggles" in boxing, styles also make football matches. The current game is built into Gadget Dobhar, though with MacNiallais on your side and as effective target men like Kevin Cassidy (left) and James Carroll, they can use the kick stroke pass very well.

There are historical reasons why this style is popular in Donegal, and nothing makes more sense to think that Gault Dobhar – the dominant side during the 40's and 50's in Donegal – popularized an early form of "running", which is concentrated on holding possession by rolling over.

The reason for this can not be simpler.

Their terrain in Maghergan is just the yards of the beach, and the galaxy's expulsion from the Atlantic is almost guaranteed throughout the year.

That's the balance on this side of Gahot Dobhar, which made bookmakers appreciate them as favorites to overcome Scotland.

As far as Kroasmaglen is concerned, seasoned observers were impressed by how this side held the Armagh Championship, without Jamie Clarke's talent forward, and Paul McCowan from behind, who – that was to say – would make a big difference in the defense of Sunday.

They also have a large number of young players such as Jamie McCoy and Sian McConnell, who will grow from this year's experience, while Ryan and Oysin O'Neill will develop into many dominant figures.

But about the myth about their philosophy?

It could disappear for good.

Belfast Telegraph

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