Saturday 16 December 2017

Travel costs force Carlow-London clash deferral

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

THE GAA may have made no concession to the Ireland-England rugby game for the timing of the Kerry-Dublin league showdown but they have agreed not to force London's footballers to cross the channel because of the costs involved on the big rugby weekend.

The Exiles were due to play Carlow on Sunday but London County Board successfully appealed to get the game switched because of the inflated price of travelling on a prime Six Nations weekend.

London estimated that it was going to cost them close to €500 per person to travel and have managed to get the game deferred to Saturday week, February 16, in Dr Cullen Park.

"We are very appreciative that the GAA and Carlow agreed to the change," said London PRO Declan Flanagan. "People could see it was one of those awkward weekends to travel, and the costs were enormous."

There has been speculation that the GAA would have been wise to bring forward the throw-in time of Sunday's Division 1 clash between Kerry and Dublin (2.0) because it is so close to the Ireland-England game (3.0), which may affect the gate in Killarney.

But the central powers did not try to change it; the fact that Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice is playing with Finuge in Saturday's All-Ireland intermediate football final in Croke Park and needs as much time as possible to get back home is believed to have also been a factor.

The GAA is generally reticent about changing throw-in times to avoid clashes with other major sporting events, but they did bring forward the start time of the Division 1 Allianz League game between Mayo and Dublin last year to facilitate viewing of the France-Ireland rugby match – which was subsequently called off because of a frozen pitch at the Stade de France.

Irish Independent

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