HE was the beneficiary of one of the most glaring errors so far this year, and Alan McCrabbe believes match-day officials should be able to carry out their duties without the introduction of TV replays or the score-detection technology Hawk-Eye.
The Craobh Chiarain man scored Dublin’s first point in their Leinster quarter-final win over Offaly at Croke Park, but subsequent replays showed his effort was wide.
“If that happened in the last few minutes of a game and Offaly lost by a point, it’s harsh,” said McCrabbe, “but I don’t know if you bring (technology) in, will it work.
“The men there should be able to see it. I don’t know if they’re using too many old people or lads with glasses, I don’t know. It was a bad decision. During the match, I honestly thought it went wide. I turned my back and was giving out to myself. I looked around and your fella (the umpire) was waving the white flag so I wasn’t going to say anything. I’ll take it as they come.”
Despite Galway’s less-than-convincing display against Westmeath last weekend, McCrabbe expects a different side — including Joe Canning, who he believes will “definitely play” — to pitch up in Tullamore for their Leinster semi-final clash tomorrow week.
“Everyone was saying would they win by 25 or 30 points, stuff like that,” said McCrabbe. “But we knew that Westmeath would give them a game.
“We wouldn’t take too much out of it. Against us, they’ll probably have a different team with a totally different set-up. You had the likes of Joe Canning there sitting on the bench and wasn’t playing.
“Joe Canning is Joe Canning, you can’t write him off. He’s the best hurler in the country, I reckon. He’s obviously going to be hard to stop. We’ll have to do something to stop him and see how we get on. But we’d be more worried about ourselves than their players.”
Westmeath manager Brian Hanley revealed afterwards that he targeted Galway in the air — the Lake County half-forward line enjoyed a constant supply of primary possession from puck-outs — and McCrabbe believes the Dubs have the players to cause similar problems for John McIntyre’s side.
“We haven’t really looked at that at all going into the Galway game but the main thing now is we have a good half-forward line that can catch ball, with Conal (Keaney) and Ryan O’Dwyer coming into the team, and Conor McCormack — three big lads that are well able to look after themselves,” he said.
“It is going to be won in the half-forward and full-forward lines so if they come out trumps, hopefully we’ll get a good performance and a good win.”
Dublin have enjoyed their best performances of this year in the wide open spaces of Croke Park while the Tribesmen turned over Anthony Daly’s men in the comparatively compact Parnell Park in the league in February, but the return to the tighter confines of O’Connor Park doesn’t concern Under Armour ambassador McCrabbe.
“It’s tight enough and a small enough pitch so it’ll be a battle around the full-forward and half-back lines,” said the 2010 All Star. “Midfield will be bypassed an awful lot, but we’ve been training out on Parnell Park and it’s more or less the same sized pitch, so we’re used to it.
“A couple of years ago we weren’t as physical as we are now. The last two years has been upped an awful lot, that we have to get physical, and I think we proved in the league this year that we are a physical and fast team. I suppose you need that physical bit just to go man-on-man and see how you get on from there.”
– Donnchadh Boyle
Article Source: Irish Independent