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Christy Ring channelled in campaign to save hurling's 20-metre free

The ‘Anthony Nash motion,’ which will change the rules for players striking close-range frees, will be debated by GAA Congress on Saturday.

HURLING GREAT CHRISTY Ring has been channelled in a campaign to save the endangered 20-metre free, which he once described as “the most important shot in the game.”

A video clip created by ‘Save Hurling Skills’ shows Ring and other iconic hurling figures taking close-range frees down through the years.

Source: Save Hurling Skills

The campaign comes ahead of Saturday’s GAA Congress which will debate a motion that, if passed, would force players to strike the ball before the 20m line rather than advancing it with their lift as has traditionally been the case.

The ‘Anthony Nash motion’ was first raised following the Cork goalkeeper’s success in converting two frees in last year’s All-Ireland finals.

But the move has divided opinion with Cork county chairman Bob Ryan describing it as “nonsensical” while Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald insisted that the change was required as a matter of safety.

“If you had a son inside in goals and he gets that from 12 or 13 yards out into the throat or any part of the lower body, that’s going to do damage,” Fitzgerald said.

“There has to be common sense, nothing else”

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The video was released yesterday and features both Nash and Fitzgerald in action as well as Kilkenny legends Eddie Keher and DJ Carey among others.

It finishes with an archive clip of Ring demonstrating the technique.

“Everything depends on lifting the ball correctly,” he said. “For the stroke to be executed properly, the ball must be driven upwards to the roof of the net.”

‘If you had a son inside in goals and he gets hit in the throat from 12 yards, it’s going to do damage’ – Davy Fitz

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Niall Kelly

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