Friday 20 October 2017

Hurling fans left in the cold as Sky gain rights to Clare-Treaty Munster clash

It is the second time in 12 months that a Championship encounter between Clare and Limerick will be shown exclusively by the English broadcasters. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
It is the second time in 12 months that a Championship encounter between Clare and Limerick will be shown exclusively by the English broadcasters. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Hurling followers hoping to watch this year's Munster SHC semi-final between Clare and Limerick on free-to-air television will be left disappointed as the game will instead be televised exclusively on Sky Sports.

The June 4 clash in Semple Stadium will be the first Munster tie in either code to be screened by the company since coming on board with the GAA in 2014, and it is likely to cause uproar in certain quarters.

Those without a Sky Sports subscription will be unable to watch the game live in their own homes, with elderly people particularly affected - it is the second time in 12 months that a Championship encounter between Clare and Limerick will be shown exclusively by the English broadcasters.

Last year's second-round qualifier in Thurles was also shown live on Sky Sports but this new agreement is part of the GAA's five-year media rights deal agreed late last year.

RTÉ retain three of the four Munster SHC fixtures: the first-round meeting of All-Ireland champions Tipperary and Cork on May 21, the winners of that game against Waterford on June 18 and the Munster final the following month on July 9.

Also, a second Munster SFC game will be shown live for the first time in four years ,with RTÉ cameras on hand on Saturday, June 10 (5.0) for a likely repeat of last year's semi-final where Tipperary toppled Cork (who must first defeat Waterford).

Limped

Meanwhile, former All-Star defender Colin Walshe has been ruled out of Monaghan's crucial Division 1 tie with Tyrone this weekend due to injury.

The Farney captain limped out of last Sunday's one-point win away to Kerry on the half-hour mark with a hamstring strain, and Sunday's all-Ulster encounter will come too soon for the Doohamlet defender.

With both sides unbeaten thus far, points are precious in the race for a final place but Malachy O'Rourke is boosted by Fintan Kelly's inclusion with the corner-back expected to shake off a dead leg picked up against the Kingdom.

In hurling, after losing both of their opening Division 1B games Offaly's daunting trip to the Gaelic Grounds to face Limerick this Saturday evening has been given a shot in the arm with the returns of Colin Egan, David King and Derek Morkan.

Egan, last year's captain, recently returned to the squad having initially opted out; King has recovered from injury, while Morkan returns from a spell in London, where he togged out with the Exiles, to add experience to Kevin Ryan's young squad.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport