Friday 21 October 2016

Clubs fearing fixture crisis over second replay

Second drawn final would leave major backlog in Dublin and Mayo

Published 29/09/2016 | 02:30

Dublin manager Jim Gavin and his Mayo counterpart Stephen Rochford shake hands. Photo:
Dublin manager Jim Gavin and his Mayo counterpart Stephen Rochford shake hands. Photo:

Dublin and Mayo will be faced with a club fixtures crisis if a second replay is required in the All-Ireland football final.

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Extra-time will be played in the event of Saturday's game finishing level in normal time, but if that failed to produce a winner, it would be back to Croke Park on Saturday week (5.0) for a third instalment.

The first draw has already left both counties well behind schedule with their club programmes, but another replay would cause utter chaos.

There was some disquiet in Mayo when club fixtures, scheduled for the last weekend in August, were called off to allow the county squad an uninterrupted four-week run into the final.

Other than in 1895, when Dublin v Cork was unfinished after the Dubs walked off the pitch due to a dispute, no All-Ireland final replay has failed to produce winners.

However, bookmakers are quoting the same draw odds (9/1) as for the first game. Dublin and Mayo went to a replay last year while Jim Gavin's men won the 2013 final by a point, underlining just how close the sides are.

Mayo were also involved in replay drama in 2014, losing to Kerry in extra-time in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Meanwhile, counties will soon be turning their attention to next year, with the provincial draws taking place this day fortnight. However, there was a setback to Paraic Duffy's controversial plans to revamp the football championship last night when Tipperary voted against the Director-General's proposals.

Irish Independent

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