Thursday 30 March 2017

Provinces should end college fiasco

Ulster colleges fared reasonably well in the Dr McKenna Cup but there are still many in the province unhappy with their presence in the competition Stock photo: Sportsfile
Ulster colleges fared reasonably well in the Dr McKenna Cup but there are still many in the province unhappy with their presence in the competition Stock photo: Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Munster saw the light in 2015 and wisely booted third-level college teams out of the their pre-season inter-county competitions but the farce has continued in the other three provinces, reaching a truly ridiculous stage last Saturday when Galway beat IT Carlow by 34 points in the Walsh Cup semi-final.

It would have been difficult enough for the Carlow students to match a top-four county team but since they fielded a weakened side because of independent.ie Fitzgibbon Cup action this week, the clash with Galway was always going to be an utterly futile mismatch.

Obviously, the Fitzgibbon Cup is going to be the top priority for college teams, in which case they should not be allowed into an inter-county competition, only to effectively bring it into disrepute at the semi-final stages by fielding well below full-strength.

Earlier in the Walsh Cup, Galway beat DIT by 21 points and Wexford beat UCD by 35 points. The FBD Connacht Football League also produced a series of lop-sided results, with county teams demolishing college outfits in games that were of no value to either party.

Connacht Council secretary John Prenty has proposed that they follow the Munster example by removing college teams and Leinster must be having reservations too after the Walsh Cup semi-final fiasco.

Ulster colleges fared reasonably well in the Dr McKenna Cup but there are still many in the province unhappy with their presence in the competition.

College teams were welcomed into the pre-season action to help them prepare for Sigerson and Fitzgibbon but it's clearly not working any longer, in which case the only logical conclusion is to leave them out. It should start from next year, thus restoring county competitions to what they used to be.

Irish Independent

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