Tuesday 12 December 2017

Seen and Heard: Camogie officials get it wrong

The organisation of events can be taken for granted at times and it's usually only when it goes wrong that it's really noticed. Well, it went badly wrong for the flailing Leinster camogie officials at their Minor finals on Sunday.

It would have been a welcome novelty for parents to not have a gate collector upon arrival, but that's where the good news ended. The car park was tiny and no way appropriate for a set of three provincial finals that were overlapping, and it turned into compete mayhem with cars and buses abandoned everywhere.

At a county final you would expect a programme, but Leinster camogie think so much of their own finals that they didn't even bother with the simple task of printing out a few sheets of paper with the names of the players on them.

As well as being too small for the volume of spectators, the problems didn't end there for the venue. The lines were not marked out in the grass, with only flags to indicate the pitch perimeter, and the match was delayed for 15 minutes as the referee attempted the fix the goal net.

At first metal scaffolding stands had been placed on the back of it to keep it down, but when someone finally identified the obvious health and safety risk they were replaced by the luminous poles that teams stick in the ground and are used for training drills.

More repairs needed to be done to the upper part of the net that was gaping and the roof which was coming away from the crossbar.

And while referee Ray Kelly was supervising and completing this work, Leinster Chairperson Rachel Hogan from Rathnure spent most of the time on her phone, maybe wondering what she had walked into.

Not that Kelly was faultless himself, with the All-Ireland Senior referee turning up to a Leinster final with no umpires. It meant that one goal had just one Dublin umpire for the first 13 minutes.

The same man would go on to point for a Dublin goal late in the first-half when Laura Brennan batted the ball away from underneath her crossbar, indicating that she was standing behind her line, but Kelly ignored his umpire.

And so, the calls continue to ring out for equal recognition from players and officials alike. But how can anyone take them seriously when their own provincial council don't respect the players enough to organise a simple set of Minor finals without making a complete hash of it?

Wexford People

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