Kellaghan clear to star for Rhode as Saints agree final switch
OFFALY club Rhode have received a big pre-Christmas favour from Carlow junior club St Andrews ahead of Sunday's AIB Leinster senior football final against Dublin giants Kilmacud Crokes.
The Carlow side have agreed to a second switch of their Leinster junior football final against Ballinabrackey, of Meath, to allow former Offaly star Pascal Kellaghan line out at full-forward for Rhode in Portlaoise next Sunday.
A potential fixture clash occurred because Kellaghan manages Ballinabrackey, as well as playing for Rhode.
When both of their Leinster semi-finals were played as a double-bill in Navan a few weeks ago, Kellaghan had to abandon the Meath club at half-time to prepare to play in the senior game that immediately followed it.
Both finals were originally fixed for next Sunday and St Andrews initially agreed to bring the junior final forward to last weekend to help Kellaghan out. But the problem has recurred after the junior final fell victim to last weekend's arctic weather.
Like the rest of Leinster's fixtures, it was expected to be refixed for next Sunday, but the Carlow side have now agreed to put it back to December 12 to facilitate Kellaghan.
"It's not a problem for us; finals don't come around too often and we were happy to be able to accommodate Ballinabrackey," said St Andrews secretary Jimmy Mullins yesterday.
He pointed out that they are joining a select group of just four Carlow clubs -- Eire Og, O'Hanrahans and Erin's Own are the others -- to ever contest Leinster finals and are taking every opportunity to prepare for the big event.
Leinster Council has refixed the rest of last weekend's snowed-off games for next weekend, which means there's now an unavoidable clash between the refixed senior hurling final, involving Oulart-The Ballagh and O'Loughlin Gaels, and Sunday's senior football decider.
The long-range weather forecast -- minus degrees are predicted to last until the end of the week with an outside possibility of snow again next weekend -- means fixtures could be hit with another white-out, but a Leinster spokesperson said yesterday: "There is no point in speculating about what will happen, we can only wait and see."
After having all of their club finals wiped out by the weather last weekend, Ulster Council has refixed all of them for the same times and venues next weekend, including their senior football final between Crossmaglen and Donegal champions Naomh Chonaill in Clones on Sunday.