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DCU decide against O'Byrne switch plea

THE Bord na Mona O'Byrne Cup final will go ahead on Sunday, despite fears that finalists DCU would look for a postponement.

DCU are due to open their Sigerson Cup campaign against Cork IT next Tuesday and it was expected that they would not want to play two big games in such close proximity.

But the Leinster Council confirmed yesterday that the students have not sought to have the game changed and that the decider against Kildare will take place in Newbridge on Sunday, with a 2.0 throw-in.

Kildare made it clear that they would be unwilling to make a change.

Leinster chairman Martin Skelly has no fears that the students, who beat Meath in the semi-finals, will field a weakened team.

"I have no doubt they will pay the competition the respect it deserves, bearing in mind where the proceeds of the competition go, to an injury-benefit fund for those who are less fortunate than ourselves," Skelly said.

Galway hurling officials, meanwhile, say they are "surprised" that Sunday's opening game in the Walsh Cup against UCD is going ahead at Belfield, having been under the impression that it would take place in Ballinasloe.

Galway officials had made arrangements for the game to take place at Duggan Park, but have been told by the Leinster Council that it has been fixed for Belfield.

Last year Galway played DIT at Ballinasloe in the Walsh Cup and believed they would enjoy home advantage if they were drawn against any of the colleges this year.

This is Galway's fourth year competing in the province, but up to now all championship games have been played in Leinster and the game against DIT was the only Walsh Cup match west of the Shannon. NUIG will also have to travel this weekend when they play Kilkenny in Freshford.

The venue issue is likely to be one of the main topics when Galway's continued participation comes up for negotiation after 2013 and while a Galway hurling board spokesperson said yesterday that they were surprised Sunday's game was being played in Belfield, they were not lodging an objection.

"We were under the impression we had home advantage. But we will be at home if we get to the semi-finals and final," said the spokesperson.

Irish Independent