first_imgTIME TO GIVE COLEMAN SOME SLACK (AND SCUTTLE HIS EVERTON CAREER)Seamus Coleman has plenty to chew over about his future with the Toffees.He may be the top scoring defender in the English Premiership in the past couple of seasons but Seamus Coleman didn’t exactly earn rave reviews amongst Evertonians for his performance against Swansea City at the weekend. And indeed if the rantings of Twitter are anything to go by, not just his latest display has come under the critical focus.Walshyby Paddy Walsh With the Toffees leading by the only goal, the Killybegs man inexplicably gave away a spot-kick, scooping the ball away with his hand after coming under pressure from Swans striker, Marvin Emnes. Despite the post- match comments of Everton boss, Roberto Martinez, who claimed that his defender had been pushed resulting in his, er, brush with the ball – “there is contact, he gets unbalanced”, the manager maintained (sic!) – the penalty was rightly awarded and converted with the Goodison Park team subsequently dropping another two points.“Been saying for some time Coleman is a defensive disaster this season”, one social media contributor insisted.“Coleman needs to be subbed off and fined for that,” declared another. “Surely the most stupid mistake of the season….”, went yet another Tweet. And a few more along those lines.As I say, hardly glowing tributes to the player whose first couple of seasons with Everton earned him plenty of plaudits. Some months ago, he was being heavily linked with a move to the club he supported as a boy, Manchester United. The reports refused to go away, surfacing every so often and gaining some traction but – and this is key – never quite prompting a response from United boss, Louis van Gaal.However, the reports still persist and perhaps this is the reason why the energetic full-back has been going through an uncertain spell at Goodison. Despite a recent improvement in form, it’s still a fact that United are looking for a defender in Coleman’s position and a change of club might just be the turning point the Donegalman needs to get him back into the groove.I still believe those supporters who have taken to Twitter to lambast him are being vastly unfair given that the bulk of his performances in the Everton shirt have been better than good even if they have seen him in action a lot more often than I have.But there’s no more fickle fan than a footballing one – just look at those Sunderland followers who have quickly vacated the terraces at the Stadium of Light after seeing their team go two or three behind on at least two occasions this season including during last weekend’s 4-1 defeat to Crystal Palace.Prompting a great line from Gary Lineker on Match of the Day at the weekend when he quipped that the Black Cat fans now avoid the traffic by remaining on until the final whistle. UNCORKEDNot even Michael Murphy could save Donegal against Cork.Ah well, we’re better off out of it, some might have said. 100% focus on the big one coming up next month, they would have consoled themselves.To which I can only say, what big one? Tyrone? And players dropping out of their panel like the showers of April. And them not a patch on the Tyrone we used to love and hate in almost equal measure. Now, we need hardly get worked up about them.Not a bad performance by Donegal at H.Q. on Sunday but while the likes of Murphy, McFadden and McBrearty, scored some wonderful points from all angles of the pitch, it was never going to be enough against a team who found the net on four occasions. Yes, a Donegal team conceding that number of three-pointers even if the likes of Brian Hurley and Colm O’Neill were inevitably going to be a test in this respect. Even the current Tyrone team might take some measure of comfort from that. A chance to get to a Final is one that shouldn’t be discounted though the Donegal players and management team didn’t appear overly disappointed at the finish.And while it’s true that all eyes can now look ahead to May 17th – and beyond – it would have been even more encouraging with another National League title under the green and gold belt. CON CATCHES THE BALL, KEVIN CATCHES CON…Kevin McHugh – a Harps legend.A hoofed clearance saw the ball vacate the Finn Park pitch on Friday night only to be caught neatly by a familiar looking figure in the stands.On the pitch, Kevin McHugh was equalling Con McLaughlin’s appearance total of 391 in the colours of Harps – off it, the latter was showing he can still control a ball even if his fielding work might have been better suited to MacCumhaill Park across the way.Back in 2011, McHugh had surpassed McLaughlin’s goal tally for the club (138) and here he was now catching up on his appearances in the blue and white. The Killea man, starting a game this season for a change as Ruairi Keating continues to recover from injury, wasn’t on the mark against Athlone Town and it was left to defender, Keith Cowan, to deliver a looping header into the Midlanders net half way through the second period to clinch the points for the home side and leave them out in front in the First Division.Not the most cohesive of performances from Ollie Horgan’s charges and indeed had the Town taken even 50% of the chances that arrived their way in the opening way, they could well have left with the full quota of points. But sometimes that’s what you want from your team – winning even when not performing at a level you’d expect from a promotion-chasing outfit.Once again this weekend, Harps will go into action as the team at the top hoping to remain in that position against the team in second. Wexford Youths had a dodgy start to the current campaign but have recovered sufficiently to show they will be in the mix come the end of it, claiming a 4-2 win away to another promotion favourite, Shelbourne, while Harps were doing the business against Athlone.A point at Ferrycarrig Park would be viewed as an excellent result given how the Youths have turned their season around. Three would have us dreaming…FINAL FLIGHT FOR RAYBack in 1990 not long (in fact, within minutes) after David O’Leary had converted his penalty kick against Romania to send the Republic of Ireland through to a World Cup quarter-final one of the brothers decided the occasion was too good to miss and enquired of the rest of us locally based family members if we’d fancy making the trip to Italia as opposed to the pubs in Letterkenny where we’d watched the previous games.Well, we told him we’d get back to him and after another two or three minutes we did with the result that four of us – this columnist’s better half included – boarded an Aer Lingus flight on the morning of the match and joined in the sing-songs that accompanied Big Jack’s Green Army of the day.The brother had booked the flight and tickets through Ray Treacy Travel – the head office familiar to those of us who have ever stepped off a coach at Busaras in Dublin – and there on board was the man himself, footballer turned business entrepreneur, taking the time to pass down the aisles (as I remember he was always a neat passer as Don Givens could testify in those hat-trick and four goal salvos against the Soviet Union and Turkey way back in the mists of the seventies)and engaging in conversation with everyone even the Donegal contingent.A bubbly personality and one blessed with a sound sense of humour, Treacy, who flew off to the great pitch in the heavens at the weekend, earned over forty caps for the Republic of Ireland and showed his skills in the colours of Shamrock Rovers (he also managed the Hoops) and West Bromwich Albion where first time opportunities were limited due to the presence of one Jeff Astle. And a handful of other clubs to boot in a career that lasted up until 1982.Much travelled on the playing front – and even more so when he hung up his boots – and a man to have on your team whether you were operating beside him in the strike force or flying to a World Cup quarter-final.SO HOW WAS THE MASTERS FOR YOU?Golf is boring. No, make that, SO boring. In fact, let’s take it a stage further. Compared to Gaelic Football, it’s nothing.Rory McIlroy was just lining up a putt on the 7th on the final day at Augusta when my thirteen year old captioned the moment – and indeed, in her eyes, the tournament and golf as a whole (or hole if you prefer) – with the above observation before returning to her electronic gadget and life in cyber space.Of course, if we’d allowed her to sit up on Sunday night to watch the final few holes, she would have altered her thinking completely and realized that – well, that fellow Spieth, or however you pronounce his name, is six shots ahead and has, as far as I can see, been well in charge since the start and there’s nobody within a mile of him and he’s mastered the Masters from way back and there ain’t much excitement in that so, like I say, Daddy, it IS boring.Ah well, I would have told her, it’s the romance of the thing – a golfer emerging from nowhere and prompting comments such as this from Darren Clarke “I don’t know what course he is playing but it’s not the one I’m playing” – and donning the Green Jacket and him still only 21.Yeah, but can he play Gaelic football, she probably would have responded.TRUE ENDURANCE“One of the greatest endurance tests in the world”, the B.B.C. commentator declared. Only thing was he was talking about the Boat Race and while, sure, there’s a hefty degree of strength and stamina involved, it still doesn’t go close to a triathlon or, better still, The Race. Now there’s an endurance test to plant most others in the shade.An extended half-marathon – extended this year because of the cancellation of the planned 15 km kayaking race due to adverse elements; a 175 Km cycle; and a clamber up (and what goes up must come down again) Muckish. Oh, an ending with a full marathon. And all of it completed in a twenty-hour period over the roughest of terrains, tracks and trails Donegal can throw at you.So I had to laugh when Clare Balding & Co. on the B.B.C. were gasping in awe at the Hooray Henrys and – this year for the first time – the Hooray Henriettas as they battled for boating supremacy along the Thames in the annual Cambridge/Oxford river run with the latter crew, in both races, rowing in home in first place watched by heaving masses of ‘Made in Chelsea’ extras knocking back their G & T’s at Hammersmith Bridge and other points besides.A far, far cry from Gartan in the early hours of a misty morning last month and Sean McFadden, the overall winner, and his fellow competitors reaching the finish of a REAL endurance test and one that would leave some of those Oxford and Cambridge rowers well out of their depths.STERLING PERFORMANCESGiven the hordes that are trodding our roads these days – some of them even stick to the footpaths – it probably should be no surprise that the top three finishers in the Titanic 10k Road Race in Belfast at the weekend were all representing Donegal clubs.First over the line was Letterkenny A.C. international, Anne Marie McGlynn, successfully defending her title from last year and in the process claiming a new personal best at the distance in a time of 34.30. And the second woman home was fellow club athlete, Natasha Adams, clocking 35.08. Third spot was taken by Finn Valley’s Teresa Doherty claiming a time of 36.05. Not a bad piece of running from the visiting trio.Danny Mooney was the best of not just the Donegal contingent but the Irish participants in the elite mile challenge at the Spar Great Ireland Run in Dublin, coming home in 6th spot, with former fellow Letterkenny A.C. representative, Mark English, pulling out of the race on the 1,200 metre mark.A decent performance from another Letterkenny man, Ruairi Finnegan, but, sadly. not as good as the 3rd place the R.T.E. post race caption somehow managed to place him.Meanwhile, isn’t it a bit – as in a big bit – unnerving that Belfast, not content with citing their main tourism attraction as the Titanic Quarter named after a ship that sank with the loss of over 1,500 lives, now have a 10k run under its masthead?COLEMAN NEEDS TO CHEW OVER HIS FUTURE WITH TOFFEES – WALSHY ON WEDNESDAY was last modified: April 15th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:evertonseamus colemanWalshy on Wednesdaylast_img

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