On the one hand, an entertaining day of football, on the other hand a worrying day as a Cork fan.
Not one established player today turned a head, not one newbie stuck the lámh up and screeched "pick me", and we suffered the same old weak-ass refereeing that produces the sane old weak-ass players.
The refereeing first, so. Every bit of contact whistled but the hard calls dodged. The result was hauling and dragging but no aggression. In modern-day Cork football you can, and will, foul every thirty seconds and get blown every one hundred and twenty, you will do it regularly to stop any actual football being played and maybe your management will use one of their six robot subs begore you exceed your farcical collection of ticks, chats, warnings, yellows, blacks and reds. But you will have stopped all football being played (and you will have rolled around a fair bit looking for frees yerself).
Cork refs have to get together and decide if they are going to allow this trend to destroy Cork football as it has destroyed other sports.
Next, newbies. No-one stood out over the two games to me as a potential Cork player. That's not to right anyone off, every day is different. Slightly disappointing, though, that we didn't come away buzzing about one possible star.
As for the established stars, a mixed bag:-
1) Haven - Collins should have run the ar$e off Walsh but just stood beside him. He was quiet and ineffective as a result. When Haven moved him away from Walsh for the last 10-15 into corner forward then he took off and swung the game. Brian Hurley was isolated by Haven's tactics, I thought, and is still clearly feeling his way back from injury, they got very little ball to him. Michael Hurley was far more dangerous but also isolated, slightly more effective. Cahalane was monumental once they moved him to centrefield. Colossal. The only Inter-County performance on show today.
2) Duhallow - Crowley on Michael Hurley was a good match-up before Crowley got back-carded.
3) Ross - No-one of note. The old heads played very well and wisely in the first half, but the entire team faded in the second. I just do not like their style of football, to be honest, but you have to admire them as competitors.
4) Barrs - Sherlock was rushed and erratic in the first half, clinical in the second. Won the game for the Barrs. Maguire stormed into it in the last quarter, played the percentages well, drove on, won loads of frees (looks for the frees too often as my wise old companion said today) but was quietly impressive. Sam Ryan continues to impress.
Overall, an uninspiring day to be a Cork GAA fan, I felt.