Fingal Independent

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County Committee calls time on Fingal hurling project


Last week's decision by the Dublin County Board to disband the Fingal hurling team may have brought to a close a project that has proved divisive at times, but given the twists and turns that have ensued since its inception in 2007, one shouldn't expect this to be the end of the story.

While there was a feeling of genuine shock within the bewildered camp, there has very been little said by the Fingal set-up in the aftermath of the decision.

At the heart of the issue was Fingallians' request that the 14-day rule be invoked where inter-county players be available to clubs for 14 days before a championship match and seven days before an Adult Hurling League game.

Fearing the knock-on effect this would have on its club calendar and particularly the club championships, the county board ultimately decided to call time on the Fingal hurling team for the foreseeable future.

Many would have seen this coming given that clubs had issues over availability of their inter-county players during the inter-county season, although Fingal have been quite flexible in this regard as they released players back to their clubs in the week before club championships.

They have argued all along that they have been successful in aiding the promotion of hurling within North County Dublin.

This season saw Wild Geese, very much the flag-bearers for hurling in Dublin's most rural area if you include neigbouring areas like Garristown, Ballyboughal, Rolestown and St Margarets, represented by Dara O'Brien and Nathan McCaffrey.

Wild Geese founding member Aidan Lenehan said this was of considerable benefit to the club.

'They came back much better hurlers. They were training at a higher level and their touch was much better.'

And given that the Fingal and South Down projects were initiated to promote hurling in predominately footballing heartlands, the question is what happens next?

The argument for keeping the Fingal project is a strong one.

Since Mick Kennedy took over as manager, the team have reached the Nicky Rackard Cup final, where they were edged out by Tyrone by a point, lost to the same opposition in extra time the following year, before a deluge of rain against Armagh in this year's semi-final put paid to their hopes.

The squad certainly looked to be in a far better position this year, with the majority of them under 25, and in that regard it would be unfortunate to see such talent slip through the net.