Thursday 27 July 2017

Martin Breheny: Venue unrest overflowing with irony for Dubs and Tipp

Dublin chairman, Seán Shanley pressed the outrage button over the decision to fix the hurlers’ qualifier clash with Tipperary for Semple Stadium next Saturday. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Dublin chairman, Seán Shanley pressed the outrage button over the decision to fix the hurlers’ qualifier clash with Tipperary for Semple Stadium next Saturday. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Irony 1: Dublin chairman, Seán Shanley pressed the outrage button over the decision to fix the hurlers' qualifier clash with Tipperary for Semple Stadium next Saturday.

Describing it as "an insult to Dublin", he is deeply unhappy over the decision to grant Tipperary home advantage in a round where games are usually played at neutral venues.

Yet, for ten seasons up to last year, all of Dublin's opposition in the Leinster football championship had to come to Croke Park for the quarter-finals.

In fairness, it wasn't Dublin's decision but the irony of them now complaining over having to play Tipperary in Thurles will have drawn wry smiles around the country.

Nonetheless, Dublin have a point. It could be argued that this is the hurlers' biggest game of the season and they are being forced to play on the opposition's home ground to facilitate a convenient double-header, which also features Kilkenny v Waterford.

Irony 2: Tipperary refused Westmeath's request to forego home advantage for last Saturday's All-Ireland hurling qualifier, instead insisting on their right to stage it in Thurles as per the draw.

Westmeath even offered to pay Tipperary's travelling expenses for the trip to Mullingar, where a visit from the All-Ireland champions would have been a huge boost for hurling in the county.

Tipperary said no and have been rewarded for displaying such a lack of gallantry towards Division 2 opposition with another home game next Saturday.

And this time, the venue wasn't even decided by a draw but by a desire to have a double-bill in Semple Stadium. How very convenient for Tipperary.

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