Wednesday 7 December 2016

Angry Galway to launch controversial bid for an open hurling draw

Published 09/07/2015 | 02:30

Jonathon Glynn, Galway, in action against Kilkenny players, left to right, Paul Murphy, Joey Holden, Jackie Tyrell, Cillian Buckley, Conor Fogarty, and Kieran Joyce (Sportsfile)
Jonathon Glynn, Galway, in action against Kilkenny players, left to right, Paul Murphy, Joey Holden, Jackie Tyrell, Cillian Buckley, Conor Fogarty, and Kieran Joyce (Sportsfile)

Galway are to launch a controversial bid to have the All-Ireland hurling championships run on an open draw system from 2017.

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In a blunt submission to Croke Park on Championship structures, they outline a list of reasons why they are unhappy with the current format, which is based on the Leinster and Munster Championships.

The Galway senior team have competed in Leinster since 2009, winning one title and reaching two other finals.

However, an application for the minors and U-21s to also move east for championship purposes was flatly rejected by the Leinster Council last year.

That now forms part of Galway's case for the hurling championships to be run off an open draw.

"We are not getting equal treatment, as other counties do at U-21 and minor level," states the Galway County Board submission.

Gerry Larkin, chairman of the Galway County Board
Gerry Larkin, chairman of the Galway County Board

It also fires a direct hit at the Leinster Council over financial matters.

"The financial contribution from Leinster Council does not adequately reflect the additional and incremental funds generated by the participation of Galway in the Leinster senior championship," it continues.

Galway are deeply unhappy too over the failure of Leinster counties to enter into home and away arrangements for Championship games. Despite completing their seventh season in the Leinster Championship last Sunday, no games have been played in Galway.

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The submission, which will go before Central Council on Saturday week, points out that because no Leinster games are played in Galway, their grounds are losing out on field rent.

And in a sharp blast, the submission concludes: "Galway's participation in Leinster benefits counties in Leinster, whereas Galway GAA and Galway supporters incur additional costs. The least Galway should expect is a 'level playing field' and equality."

Whether Galway's call for the introduction of an open draw All-Ireland championship is part of a strategy to improve their deal with Leinster remains to be seen, but it's obvious from the strident tone of the submission that they are in militant mood.

Galway cannot be forced to remain in the Leinster Championship, so Central Council are likely to intervene in an attempt to broker a settlement.

A Galway withdrawal from Leinster would cause major problems for the Championship structure, which has been well-regarded in recent years.

Irish Independent

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