Sunday 18 March 2018

Dubs set for Sunday showdown with Kerry


Dublin manager Jim Gavin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Dublin manager Jim Gavin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Colm Keys​

Dublin's Allianz League Division 1 match with Kerry may have to go ahead on Sunday week because of concerns over Garda manpower in the capital the previous day.

A decision on re-fixtures will be made on Monday but already it seems like Dublin's home match with Kerry, originally scheduled for Croke Park tomorrow night, will go ahead on Sunday March 11 instead of its regular Saturday-night slot.

With the Ireland v Scotland Six Nations rugby match on in Dublin on Saturday March 10 and a 'Rally for Life' also due to take place in the city centre that afternoon, Garda preference is understood to be for the game to be pushed back a further day, rather than stretching resources to cover a Saturday night Croke Park fixture.

A weekend wipe-out for sports fixtures because of the weather saw the entire Allianz football and hurling league programmes being postponed.

Munster's, Ulster's, and Leinster's Guinness PRO14 matches have also been shelved.

Disruption at Dublin Airport was among the factors considered in postponing Leinster's trip to Scarletts until later in the season.

Munster were due to fly to Edinburgh yesterday for their match tonight but that has now been rescheduled for St Patrick's weekend.

Only Connacht are in action this weekend as they are in South Africa to play the Cheetahs.

The GAA brought forward a decision on the league fixtures by 24 hours when it became clear that a predicted weekend thaw would not come quick enough, leaving a majority of venues still unplayable.

All games will now be pushed back a week with the last round of the hurling leagues to be played next Sunday.

The hurling quarter-finals will go ahead on Sunday, March 18 with the semi-finals set to take place on March 25. The knock-on effect is that the Division 1 league final will now go ahead on Saturday, March 31, provided there are no further disruptions between now and then.

All Lidl LGFA NFL games scheduled for this weekend have also been postponed, due to the adverse weather.

Counties involved in Division 3 and 4 will play this round on the weekend of the March 17/18, while those involved in Division 1 and 2 will play their games on the weekend of April 7/8. For GAA fixtures-makers, it has been a very challenging winter/spring with less room to manoeuvre with postponements because of the compression to facilitate a ‘free’ April for clubs.

As far back as last December, a snow-covered O’Moore Park in Portlaoise forced the postponement of the Leinster club football final between Moorefield and St Loman’s which went ahead seven days later.

In early January, pre-season competitions also suffered with two games in Connacht including Mayo and Galway and three McKenna Cup games in Ulster falling by the wayside due to frozen pitches. Ulster also had to postpone a McKenna Cup semi-final between Donegal and Armagh by three days.

The Bord na Móna O’Byrne Cup in Leinster was shelved for the first time at the end of January because of heavy rain that fell in the midlands, weather that also claimed four All-Ireland club semi-finals in hurling and football.

The leagues have already been affected with Kerry having to make the trip to Monaghan twice and Cavan and Meath’s Division 2 game re-fixed on the same weekend because of rain and snow. Derry/Offaly and Sligo/Fermanagh in Division 3 were postponed.

The O’Byrne Cup final may now go ahead on the weekend of March 30/31, if Westmeath and Meath are not involved in any of the league finals.

Irish Independent

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