"Let's not hide behind the fact that it was a poor game, I don't buy the rain scenario" 9 months ago

"Let's not hide behind the fact that it was a poor game, I don't buy the rain scenario"

Sunday's All-Ireland senior ladies football final was a bad game.

And there's no point in saying anything else.

The standard of shooting was poor. There were more wide balls than there were scores.

Handling was poor. The sight of a ball skidding out of hands was a common one. The conditions were poor too, but there have been good games in the drizzle before, remember.

For that, we need look no further than the intermediate final which took place two hours earlier. Tipperary and Meath made light work of the slippery surface then in a 2-16 to 1-14 thriller. Aishling Moloney kicked seven of the finest points you'll see from open play in that, a game played off in conditions none too dissimilar to the senior showpiece.

It was just a bad game. And that's okay. We don't even need to go down the road of saying the semi-finals were great games and that Niamh Kelly scored one of the best goals Croke Park has ever been lucky enough to see that weekend. Because that type of context shouldn't be needed.

The All-Ireland senior hurling final between Tipperary and Kilkenny wasn't the best of games. The Leinster senior football final between Dublin and Meath was a non-contest. There are bad games in every sport.

Speaking on The GAA Hour Football Show, Mayo ladies manager Peter Leahy was intent on cutting through the patronising narrative that surrounded Sunday's senior final.

"There was a lot of hard tackling and a lot of good tactical stuff but it was a poor spectacle of a game to be honest with you," he said.

"It's very hard to watch a team scoring four points. Five scores to four, it's really, really tough to watch. It was a poor spectacle and I don't buy the rain scenario at all, we've all played in rain. We were involved in the Connacht final this year in absolutely torrential rain, and it was a cracking match..."

"You can make excuses, but it was only drizzle. I don't think you can use weather. It's kind of patronising because we're trying to make excuses. None of the Dublin girls should make excuses, they're All-Ireland champions. Three-in-a-row is fantastic and it's an amazing thing, but let's not hide behind the fact that it was a poor game of football..."

"You can say it was a looser game or whatever, but their shot selection in the intermediate game were way better. It was down to the tactical set-up. I would say Galway set-up very negatively. They set up to have a go and to push up early on, but they went very negative - a lot of stages, there were 14 behind the ball..."

"In a way, I can understand Tim Rabbitte's scenario, I mean we had 39 scoring shots against them in the semi. We missed 13 and put four into the keepers' hands, they probably thought to themselves, Mayo's shot selection was poor - Dublin won't have a poor shot selection, and we'll be out the gate before we know it...So I can understand them shutting up shop to a certain extent but you have to try and win the game and I don't think Galway went to win the game..."

With the blanket defence having such a big impact on Sunday, the worry is that these tactics may take over in the ladies game. Especially when it seems an easier tactic to get away with in ladies football, given that the shooting zone is regularly closer to the goals than what it is in the men's game.

"It's an easier thing to defend against, you can shut a team out. It's creeping in more and more. We've come across an awful lot more defensive teams trying to shut up shot. It takes away from the game I love, which is attacking football, try and score more than the opposition...I have a genuine big fear that if it creeps into the ladies game, I will struggle myself personally as a coach to stick with stuff that is quite defensive. I won't blame Dublin for it, because if a team is playing defensive against you, you obviously have extra players back..."

You can listen to the full interview with Peter Leahy, another with Dublin star Noelle Healy and much more on Wednesday's GAA Hour Show Ladies football special.