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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Curve Ball: 'Ref justice denies Cork the double'

James O'Donoghue, left, and Cork's Mark Collins both react before referee Padraig Hughes awarded Kerry a controversial penalty in the drawn Munster final
James O'Donoghue, left, and Cork's Mark Collins both react before referee Padraig Hughes awarded Kerry a controversial penalty in the drawn Munster final

TO whom it concerns ... the ruling executive of the Official People's Republic (note to editors: not the breakaway Popular Front of the Langer Republic) wishes to place on record its sincere thanks to Brian Cuthbert for his two-year term.

Now that's out of the way, down to business.

The tremendous performance of the team in the drawn Munster final has been widely acknowledged, and it is quite probable that but for a totally wrong refereeing decision, Cork would now be in an All-Ireland semi-final.

We say this safe in the knowledge that Kerry, with their penchant for collapsing (unlike us), would have put up the white flag in the last 20 minutes, once justice was done and no penalty awarded.

Cork would then be rightful champions of Munster. But we're only starting. The short turnaround time between the replay, played in exhausting weather conditions, and the qualifier against Kildare, cannot be ignored as a factor in Kerry's subsequent defeat ...

WATERTIGHT

Er, on mature reflection, there would have been no replay. Still, would three weeks have been sufficient time to recover? We doubt it, especially against that watertight Lilywhite defence.

So the Kingdom of all evil would have been gone by the end of July, and that would have left Cork facing Kildare, bloated with complacency after ambushing Kerry and thus sure to leak seven goals against our deadly attack ... even if they may have blitzed us in a parallel universe qualifier.

But what if a wounded Kerry had somehow survived that Kildare tsunami? Well, in that far-fetched scenario, it would have been Kerry/Dublin in the quarter-final, eliminating one of the alleged heavyweights.

Meanwhile, Cork in all its 260-club glory would instead have faced a Nordie minnow with just enough dry land and Catholics to produce 20-odd clubs.

CARNAGE

Cue carnage for poor Fermanagh, even with a Kerry referee looking to make a name for himself (and Seán Quigley) by dint of the year's second most totally wrong decision.

Cork would duly cruise past another Ulster pretender (Monaghan? Tyrone? Who cares!) to reach the final in September.

There to meet Dublin or Kerry or Mayo or Donegal ... you don't seriously think any of that quartet would live with us?

But here's the really significant byproduct of that totally wrong refereeing decision. If we hadn't have been robbed on July 5, there would have been such a surge of feelgood positivity in the People's Republic that our hurlers would have hammered Clare (instead of sneaking it) and then steamrolled Galway; and Donal Óg wouldn't have been free to spout that ráiméis about "stooges and yes men"; and we'd be nine days out from putting Tipp in their place, all as a precursor to bringing Liam back to its rightful Leeside home ...

And then there'd be no reason for us to release this statement and make total langers of ourselves in public.

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