Monday 16 January 2017

Galway's push east for underage teams

Published 23/04/2015 | 02:30

Galway chairman Noel Treacy said that they would be having further discussion with Leinster officials in an attempt to re-visit the proposal
Galway chairman Noel Treacy said that they would be having further discussion with Leinster officials in an attempt to re-visit the proposal

Despite being rejected last November, Galway are still hoping that their minor and U-21 hurlers will be allowed to enter the Leinster championships at some stage in the future.

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The Leinster Council voted against Galway's application for their underage teams to join the seniors east of the Shannon after some counties publicly voiced their objections to the move.

Galway chairman Noel Treacy said that they would be having further discussion with Leinster officials in an attempt to re-visit the proposal. "We still think there's merit in it and would hope that we could persuade Leinster counties of that," said Treacy.

The opposition by a majority of Leinster counties stemmed from Galway's impressive record at minor and U-21 level, where they have won a total of nine All-Ireland titles since 1999.

Kilkenny is the only Leinster county that can compare with that. Wexford haven't won a U-21 All-Ireland since 1965 or a minor title since '68.

Dublin and Offaly last won minor All-Irelands in 1965 and 1989 respectively, while neither has won an U-21 title. Laois have never won an All-Ireland minor or U-21 title.

Given those returns, it came as no surprise when there was so much opposition to Galway's underage cuckoo flying into the Leinster nest.

Leinster Council chairman John Horan said at this year's Convention that based on Galway's success at All-Ireland level, it was easy to understand why their application for a move east had been rejected.

However, he also said that Galway had a justifiable argument that the All-Ireland system was failing them by not providing more games.

He suggested the establishment of a round-robin, featuring Galway, Antrim and the beaten Leinster and Munster finalists, with the top two qualifying for the All-Ireland semi-finals.

"This, I feel, would give Galway meaningful matches that, in fairness, they deserve," he said.

Galway seniors joined the Leinster championship in 2009, winning the title for the first time when beating Kilkenny in 2012.

Irish Independent

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