Sunday 19 November 2017

Leinster chief seeks replay review

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Leinster Council chairman Sheamus Howlin has called for a review of the decision taken at last year's Congress to scrap replays for drawn provincial first-round matches and quarter-finals.

Howlin made his comments after Dublin and Wexford went to extra-time instead of a replay on Sunday, spurning the prospect of another €600,000 pay-day for the council.

The Wexford man pointed to the lost revenue and to the loss of entertainment as solid reasons for the review.

He admitted he agreed with the spirit of the motion that was designed to give more time back to clubs for playing fixtures. But he suggested the evidence wasn't there that counties were getting on with playing club fixtures at this time of year.

"I think this motion does need to be looked at again," he said.

"People forget that 95pc of our revenue goes back to clubs and counties for development and general revenue streams.

"On top of that, there are opportunities to further showcase our games at the highest level. I thought both Leinster matches were hugely entertaining. One is being replayed, but if there were two, it would have made for a great occasion at Croke Park again next Saturday."

Howlin, who felt the crowd could have been in excess of 45,000 again, added: "Clubs benefit from this extra revenue and it would have been significant for a Dublin/Wexford replay."

The motion was brought in at last year's Congress as part of a package of measures to devote more time on the calendar to club fixtures.

Meanwhile, Meath are likely to be without their captain and midfielder Nigel Crawford for Saturday's replay against Laois in Tullamore.

Crawford has a back injury and had missed training before being ruled out of Sunday's drawn encounter.

He has been attending sports injury consultant and former Dublin manager Pat O'Neill, and has been advised to rest his ailing back.

But half-forwards Graham Reilly, who scored 1-4 in an impressive debut, and Seamus Kenny are both expected to be fit despite suffering injuries in the Laois game.

Irish Independent

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