Daithi Regan on what the weight of the ball has taken away from modern hurling

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Daithi Regan on what the weight of the ball has taken away from modern hurling


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What a weekend of hurling! Two outstanding semi finals and the entertainment continues this coming weekend as Clare and Galway replay.

Ahead of that, Kilkenny legend Tommy Walsh and Offaly legend Daithi Regan joined us to preview the match and also talk about the current standards in hurling as it captures the popular imagination. 

But both Tommy and Daithi also had a warning about the long-term health of elite hurling based on structural issues. 

"We need to be very careful. The two games we had last weekend were wonderful, but if we stay going with the club structures that we have at the moment... we need to sort out the clubs because the last year has been terrible as regards to you don't know when you're playing and you don't what's going on," he said.

The high rate of scoring has led to scrutiny of the sliothar and Daithi also higlighted that as a potential contributory issue.

"I do think the weight of the ball is an issue," said Daithi.

"Joe Dooley has brought this to my attention four or five years ago. Now, when you look at where puck outs are coming and the strategy behind puck outs, you can hit a guy 70 yards from his own goals and he can then turn and put it over the bar.

"I think what the game has lost to a point has been, looking back at the '90s just as an example: You would have situations where the ball would be in play for a number of minutes at a time and it would be up and down the field and the crowd would be massively involved in it. And to strike a ball over your shoulder, you might hit it 50-60 yards. Now a guy from 80 yards can strike the ball from over his shoulder and get it the distance whether it goes over the bar or not.

"So I think it's a very good point [to discuss] and I was worried about it."

But he feels fitness and skill levels have gone up and he added that he had never been "so engrossed" by proceedings as a neutral observer as he had been during the Clare vs Galway game from last Saturday with the "skill levels just through the roof".


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