ST SYLVESTER'S manager Gabriel Bannigan believes that the Dublin county board needs to look at how the Dublin SFC is scheduled if a repeat of Wednesday night's clash with Kilmacud Crokes is to be avoided in future.
The inclement conditions that prevailed for the second semifinal meant that his side's quarter-final clash with Kilmacud Crokes was almost impossible to play in. So much so that the officials at Parnell Park took the decision to move Saturday's showcase Intermediate football final to the Parnells ground in Coolock to allow the pitch to recover in time for the two senior semi-finals in Parnell Park the next day. And Bannigan believes it was something that could have been avoided with more flexibility and better planning. 'I'm not being critical of the county board or the CCC who both do terrific work but they had a couple of options.
'The weather forecast for Thursday and Friday was good so there was nothing stopping them for fixing both games for the next day' 'Admittedly the first quarter final was okay and the game was half decent, but nobody realised it was going to rain down so torrentially. 'But by the time it came to our game, it essentially turned into a mud bath played with a bar of soap. 'And you just don't train a team all year to play in conditions like that. The second half descended into farce in the end.
'Effectively the county board might have been just as well tossing a coin to decide the winner.' The scheduling of championship games continues to be a problem with one early round of fixtures wiped out by rain in the summer. And the decision to put the championship on hold from July onwards to accommodate Dublin's preparation for the AllIreland series is something that Bannigan believes should be revisited. 'The problem is we don't play enough games during the summer. They play championship games in Donegal, Tyrone and Kerry and anyway there were three week gaps between some Dublin games which would have given them ample time to get in another round or two.
'We could easily have the quarter finals played by the end of June which would allow championship to be played off with plenty of time to spare by the time Dublin have finished the All-Ireland series. And I think it would be of benefit to the Dublin players. 'There's nothing like players playing competitive games and this would also give the clubs a fair crack of the whip. 'As it stands some players are being asked to play three games inside the space of a week which isn't fair. 'So I think all the stakeholders like the Dublin management and the CCC should try get together and sort this out.'