GAA Football

Pundit Watch: Here's my number, so call me Brolly

Joe Brolly was vocal about Tyrone's performance
By Padraig Kelly

“MAYBE you should you give Mickey Harte a ring and advise him, I’m sure he will be thrilled to hear from you.”

No pundit has had more to say on Tyrone than Joe Brolly and on The Sunday Game yesterday, his fellow pundit Colm O’Rourke advised the Derry man that maybe he should take a more direct approach when analysing the Red Hands.

Brolly smiled at that, knowing that the call would likely go straight to voicemail, but he no doubt would have felt that his message of recent weeks had been vindicated further after watching Tyrone steamroll Donegal in the final 20 minutes of yesterday’s huge Ballybofey clash to set up an All-Ireland semi-final with Monaghan on Sunday.

Brolly had said that he wanted to see more of the Tyrone that were let off the leash against Dublin in the final five minutes, and that duly arrived after the break yesterday afternoon.

“I think Tyrone can do a lot better and I think we saw that in the second half,” Brolly said after their brilliant 2-17 to 1-13 win.

“I think (Kieran) McGeary should be starting, he’s an excellent, excellent footballer. Lee Brennan should be starting.

“I think it gives Tyrone a totally different dynamic. This is a really good Tyrone team and they need to have faith in themselves.”

Brolly held the most praise for Brennan who, following his 38th minute introduction, scored four points and put a goal on a plate for Cathal McShane only for his teammate to fluff his lines.

“For me it was a statement whenever Lee Brennan was brought on because he is a wizard,” said Brolly.

“He brought imagination to what had been until then a very unimaginative Tyrone performance.

“Once he came in, just doing these tricks inspired everyone. You could see now that Tyrone had a focal point in their attack.”

Elsewhere there was admiration for Niall Morgan’s kicking in the second half after a ropey first-half showing while the majority of the panel were unhappy with the performance of Cavan whistler Joe McQuillan.

Colm Cooper was especially annoyed at his inability to spot three double hops, one of those leading directly to a Donegal score, but Brolly said that those were excusable mistakes in the “hurly-burly” of Championship football.

At the interval O’Rourke was very critical of McQuillain’s readiness to show cards, but he also said that he wasn’t helped by players going down like “shot bullocks.”

Moo-ving to the udder big game yesterday, RTE co-commentator Brendan Cummins said it was re-friesian ( okay, that’s enough) to see another thriller added to this year’s long list as Galway claimed a 1-17 to 2-13 win over Clare in their All-Ireland SHC semi-final replay in Thurles.

“Galway, in the finish up, have shown that little bit of composure and some would say that little bit of luck to get over the line,” said the Tipperary man.

“You have to credit Clare, they looked dead and buried after 17 minutes. They held Galway scoreless until the fifth or sixth minute of the second half from the 19th minute of the first.

“They got themselves back into the game, unbelievable resilience, but at the same time Galway will be relieved to get over this one.

“Limerick, on the other hand, will be delighted. Galway have had to through the ringer here again and Limerick are in some hotel watching this game, resting up.”

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