Saturday 3 December 2016

No excuse for late finish in many counties?

Published 07/10/2015 | 02:30

'There was a time when the Sunday between the All-Ireland hurling and football finals fizzed with senior county final action'
'There was a time when the Sunday between the All-Ireland hurling and football finals fizzed with senior county final action'

There was a time when the Sunday between the All-Ireland hurling and football finals fizzed with senior county final action.

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Not anymore. In fact, it's unusual nowadays for any county to complete its championship so early.

Indeed, even the first Sunday in October was fairly low key, and while the pace will pick up next weekend, it won't be the busiest weekend for county final action.

Counties who were involved in the latter stages of the Championships have an excuse for taking their club finals well into October, but what of those who were eliminated a long time ago?

Some of them will finish even later than counties who were involved in the Championship right up to September, which is difficult to understand.

It makes the plan to complete the All-Ireland club championships by December look a remote possibility.

And while there are many who welcome that, on the basis that the finals should continue to be played on St Patrick's Day, the decision should not have to be made because so many counties seem incapable of meeting earlier deadlines.

It remains, of course, part of the much wider GAA fixtures conundrum which seems as intractable as ever.

The entire county programme is up for review but with so many strands attached, it's difficult to see how a more streamlined schedule can be devised.

Still, that's no excuse for many counties finishing their championships so late.

On the subject of club action, full marks to TG4 for their extensive coverage of county finals, which will be followed by the provincial championships.

It's an excellent service, which keeps live hurling and football on our TV screens at a time when other stations close the book on GAA coverage.

Irish Independent

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