Angry Sean Cavanagh blasts Tyrone fixture-makers
SEAN Cavanagh has lashed out at the Tyrone County Board over fixing a club game for last Saturday afternoon, just three hours before he was due to play for Ireland against Australia in the first International Rules Test in Cavan.
His club, Moy, were due to play Eglish in a relegation game at 4.0 but it was called off due to a waterlogged pitch, allowing Cavanagh to earn his ninth international cap.
However, Cavanagh was still furious at the difficult situation in which he found himself.
"It was disappointing. You give 14 years' service to Tyrone and you are being told that you cannot go and represent your country and try to win the Cormac McAnallen Cup," he said.
"Cormac was a proud Tyrone man, a proud Irish man and an Eglish man. He was also a good friend of mine. It means a lot to me to be able to play for Ireland and hopefully we can keep Cormac's cup here."
He told the Tyrone County Board last week that he was very keen to play the international game and that since the cup was called after one of the county's most famous names, they should do all they could to help ensure that the trophy was kept in Ireland.
"I was trying to put it across to the Tyrone County Board that this competition means a lot to me personally in that it is Cormac's cup.
"I have been quite passionate about that down through the years but even up to last night (Friday) I wasn't sure whether I was going to play. Maybe Cormac was looking down on me and threw a bit of water on the Moy pitch," said Cavanagh.
He said that senior GAA officials were keen that the club match would not be fixed for Saturday afternoon but Tyrone refused to yield.
"The (club) fixture was announced a week and a half ago and they (senior GAA officials) were trying to convince Tyrone and Eglish to move it back 24 hours. There was talk that they were going to move it back to earlier in the day so that I could play a part and then come down here," he said.
"To me, the whole thing was disappointing. I had told the club that I was going to come, I told the Irish lads that I was under serious pressure. I don't think that is right. Tyrone would not move it themselves and I think Eglish were being quite obstructive."
Meanwhile, there's good news for Cork midfielder Aidan Walsh who sustained a bang on the knee during Saturday's game. It looked serious initially but thankfully that has not proved to be the case and he's likely to be available for the second Test next Saturday.