Sport Hurling

Sunday 26 March 2017

Cavan exit just tip of the iceberg, warns McEntee

Losing battle: Mark McEntee
Losing battle: Mark McEntee
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Cavan hurler Mark McEntee has warned that other teams face a similar fate to hurling in the Breffni county if the neglect of the game continues in weaker counties.

Cavan announced their decision to withdraw from the Lory Meagher Cup yesterday, having given Fermanagh a walkover in their opening-round clash, which was due to be played last weekend.

And McEntee is convinced the problem will spread.

"It has been a long, slow death for Cavan hurling. We've had no minor team or U-21 side for the last few years and there's no hurling board in the county anymore, either," he said. "But it's not just Cavan who have this problem. It will spread. There are other counties in a similar position."

Cavan chairman Tom Reilly denied any decision had been made on whether they were withdrawing for the next five years.

Instead, he insisted that a plan was in place which will see the return of the county minor team and the development of the game at club level, which would see amalgamations set up in the county in an attempt to boost playing numbers. However, McEntee, a Cavan native who previously hurled for Dublin, believes that is the wrong way to go.

"For an amalgamation to work, three or four clubs would have to come together and agree to train for football on the same night to free up the players for hurling training," he said.

"That looks unworkable. Bring hurling into an established football club where there is an appetite for it among its members. It might take a while to take effect, but you have to change the landscape somehow."

Irish Independent

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