independent

Thursday 20 September 2018

April club month farce

Plug pulled on three re-fixtures to facilitate challenge

The utter fallacy of April being a club month in the G.A.A. has been highlighted with the announcement that three re-fixed football championship games, initially scheduled for this Friday night, have now been postponed.

It has emerged that these matches were called off in order to facilitate a Senior versus Under-20 in-house football game scheduled for the same evening in the Ferns Centre of Excellence, despite this supposedly still being a closed month for inter-county activity.

The C.C.C.C. had re-scheduled any of the 13 recently-postponed games involving county footballers for Friday, thereby leaving the rest of the weekend free for preparations to begin in earnest for the championship clash with Laois in Innovate Wexford Park on May 12.

However, in a subsequent press release, they stated that 'further to a request from the Wexford Senior Football Manager', three of those games have now been called off again.

The matches in question are the Amber Springs/Ashdown Park Hotels Intermediate championship meeting of Adamstown and Ballyhogue, the Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' game between Volunteers and St. Patrick's, and the Enniscorthy Farm Systems Junior clash of Starlights and Rathgarogue-Cushinstown.

These games have now been rescheduled for the weekend of May 18-20, which is just one week before a potential Leinster Senior football championship quarter-final should Wexford overcome their opening round opponents.

The three games will be on the 18th if Wexford win six days earlier, and on the 20th if they lose.

In the case of the Adamstown versus Ballyhogue game, Michael Furlong and Shane Doyle from these respective clubs have featured with the county footballers during the league campaign.

The Junior game is off because Eoin Porter of Rathgarogue-Cushinstown, last year's county Minor centre-back, has been called into the Senior squad.

And the eligibility of newcomer David Shannon means that the Volunteers' match has also been put on the long finger.

The Cork native wasn't entitled to play with Wexford until he featured in a club championship game, and that happened when the centre-forward helped the town team to a one-point win over Craanford recently.

He had spent the past number of months playing rugby with Gorey in Division 1A of the Leinster League, and it is believed that he is pushing hard for a starting place in the forward line against Laois.

The six clubs involved were informed of this series of postponements over the weekend, and it has left the Ballyhogue club up in arms and feeling frustrated with the treatment they have received from the opening round weekend right up to the latest development.

The question on many lips is, why didn't the County Board insist on the three games going ahead as planned on Friday, and instruct the respective inter-county management teams to move their challenge game to Saturday?

Wexford People

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