County Call - Grassroots news from around the provinces
KILKENNY - The GAA proposal for 2015 to play all games within the calendar year could force some counties out of provincial club competitions, a county board meeting has been told.
The Cats could be one of the counties to give outside club competitions a miss as they concentrate on their local leagues and championships, the county's Central Council delegate Paul Kinsella said.
"My view is that we may have to sacrifice the club championships for local games," the former county board chairman said.
Kilkenny, who have produced regular winners of the senior, intermediate and junior club competitions in Leinster and at All-Ireland level, run their home games on a league/championship basis, beginning in mid-April. The county final is usually played at the end of October.
However, Kinsella, who is one of the chief architects of the local programme of matches, said there simply wouldn't be enough time at the end of the season to cram in the provincial and All-Ireland matches.
Model GAA chiefs are to proceed with the development of a Centre of Excellence at Ferns, despite missing out on funding from the Sports Capital Programme.
An administrative error led to an invalid funding application and despite missing out on around €400,000 in funding, the county board plan to proceed with the next phase of the development.
Dressing-rooms and a road will be built at the facility, which is scheduled to be ready for early next year as various county teams start their preparation for 2015. Further work will follow at a later date.
With one round of the Kildare SFL Division 1 still to be played, this year's final pairing is already known, with Athy and Celbridge set to meet.
A day after Kildare seniors squeezed past Clare, the focus quickly turned to club action, with the penultimate round of league games taking place, and unlike Ennis on Saturday night, there was no shortage of goals.
Table-toppers Athy, who have been the form team all the way through, hit the net four times as they recorded a resounding victory over an understrength Naas, while Celbridge secured their final place with a 0-16 to 1-7 win over Sarsfields.
At the other end of the scale, the alarming slide of St Laurence's continues as their nine-point loss to Confey means they will play Division 2 football next year.
The other relegation place is still not decided, with Raheens, St Kevin's and Johnstownbridge all still contenders for the drop.
In Division 2, Kilcock, Maynooth and Allenwood are locked in a battle for the two promotion spots ahead of the last round of games, all on 22 points.
The county ladies team will get a shot in the arm next month after Sarah Rowe confirmed her intention to return once her soccer commitments are complete.
Rowe is in Norway at the UEFA Women's championships with the trail-blazing Ireland U-19 squad.
"I am very proud of the fact that I have over 20 international caps for Ireland to date," she said. "But I love playing for the Mayo ladies Gaelic football team and I intend to return as soon as I can."
The county are facing into a significant referee shortage after it was revealed that 45pc of the Oak Leafers' officials will retire in the next three years.
Referees co-ordinator Sean Curran pointed out that their current tally of 68 officials could fall to 38 inside three years if some new blood is not introduced.
"The core number of referees we have within our county has now reached a crisis point where in the next three years we will be losing up to 45pc of our current referees due to retirements," Curran said. "It takes approximately three years of careful training to bring new referees through to begin refereeing at senior level.
"It is now in the clubs' best interests to recruit young committed men to take up this important role within our games structure."
We've always known Brendan Cummins was an all-round sportsman, as he played outfield for the Tipperary footballers in the early stages of his goalkeeping career with the Premier County hurlers.
Last weekend he delivered a timely reminder of his skills when the 39-year-old hit a staggering 19 points while playing outfield for his club Ballybacon/Grange in a divisional club game against Cahir in the South Tipperary IHC.
The breakdown of those 19 points displayed a full array of skills. Ten points came from frees, three from '65s' as well as one sideline cut, while the remaining five scores came from open play.
The performance was described as a "masterclass of accuracy" by local newspaper 'The Nationalist'.
The Exiles are hosting the 10th annual Continental Youth Games in Yonkers this weekend as part of their centenary celebrations.
Around 2,000 children paraded down MacLean Avenue to launch the weekend which sees more 230 teams from across North America compete.
GAA president Liam O'Neill was in attendance along with LGFA president Pat Quill, LGFA president-elect Marie Hickey and Camogie president Aileen Lawlor. The games will run until Sunday.
Tyrone will officially launch the latest addition to their state-of-the-art training centre at Garvaghey when they open their skills wall next weekend.
Paidi Butler, Daithi Regan and other hurling personalties will be on hand at the launch which will see skills demonstrations, presentations to successful Tyrone teams from down the years and a question and answer session on Friday week.
The official opening takes place on Saturday afternoon after a GoGames blitz for U-8, U-10 and U-12 teams.