‘Stop tinkering with hurling league’ - Dunne

Frank Roche

LIAM DUNNE has slammed the GAA policy-makers for making his Wexford hurlers play a relegation play-off yesterday – and called on incoming president Liam O’Neill to ensure there is no more tinkering with hurling rules.

Dunne made his plea after Wexford preserved their Allianz League Division 1B status with a 5-12 to 0-19 victory over Laois – a game, he reckons, that should never have been played.

“I felt we shouldn’t have been here in the first place, but the GAA make the rules,” he said. “You finish with four points after winning two games in the National League and you’re playing a team that won no game, and still you could go down if things didn’t go right for you.

“Hopefully, they'll go back to the old format and they’ll have quarter-finals in the league. Liam O’Neill is a hurling man and I hope he can change it back,” Dunne added.

The eight-point margin at Nowlan Park flattered Wexford, for whom 19-year-old Jack Guiney emerged as their full-forward hero with a 3-4 haul.

Guiney completed his hat-trick in injury-time, after which Laois boss Teddy McCarthy admitted: “We leaked goals and that’s it. We’ve been doing it all year, really.”

Meanwhile, at the same venue, Carlow leapfrogged Laois into Division 1B after claiming a 1-14 to 0-12 win over Westmeath in a disappointing Division 2A decider.

A 67th minute goal from substitute Martin Clowry sealed the fate of Westmeath, who finished with 13 men after a double-yellow dismissal for Paul Greville and a straight red for John Gilligan.

There was far more excitement in the Division 2B final at Parnell Park, where late goals from Richie Hoban and Martin Fitzgerald propelled Kildare to a 3-13 to 1-12 win over Meath.