Slightly philosophical, but where ends a reason and begins an excuse? (I tried to write on this topic concisely but it just ballooned out into a random stream of periodically on topic thoughts and now I don't feel like just deleting it all)
Take the clonmel game, heard some girning about the ref and chatter about the effect the hurling had on Nemo, (losing Brian Murphy and the wear on those who played) but whatever you think it only matters if you can somehow learn and adjust for next time. Was it a celebration hangover? Are these excuses or just the reasons behind it? Likely both? My contention is that Clonmel simply dominated on the night and won because their performance deserved it. But how can we honestly say why it happened like that?
I was there on the night and from very early on in the first half Nemo seemed out of it, as if they were tired from the get go. We were lucky to have it so close at half time and early in the second half almost took the lead. But then the heavy legs returned and Clonmel ran away with it. In the end the Scoreline was well reflective of the gulf on the night.
It's hard to walk the line of giving an honest assessment of the reasons behind a performance, especially a bad one. For Nemo, on the pitch it had all the hallmarks of the final against Corofin.
And the weirdest part, is that both losses came on the back of pretty impressive wins. Slaughtneil were, deservedly, expected to top Nemo in their run in 17/18 and the performances of the Barrs had them rightly favourites for the final this year given the lead up matches*.
And yet in spite of these awful losses, Nemo are arguably the best club who haven't won and All Ireland in the past 6 years with 4 counties, 2 provincial and an AI final appearance. Naturally we would want to have an AI in there somewhere but it is also important to recognise exactly where on the scale of clubs you are, taking in the good and bad.
* I will clip the ears of west cork football enthusiasts who think their "defensive systems" are some great weapon. They're not. You're copying a donegal team who fell through the cracks and won an All Ireland with it and then failed to do anything further. The System is dead and nobody else has ever succeded with it. Just play football, packed defence only works when you are already the better team anyway so wtf is the point. Take on board the lesson that you utterly failed to beat Nemo in the same way as everyone failed with this setup against Dublin and come up with something else please . Perfectly happy to lose to any side who actually tries to play and complement those who try and come up short, because opponents deserve respect when they step on the field. Pack defence teams only step on half the pitch and are proptionately respected as appropriate. Side-rant over