Monday 22 January 2018

Two games in 24 hours for winners of Laois football final replay

Laois chairman Gerry Kavanagh
Laois chairman Gerry Kavanagh
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Discussions with Carlow club Palatine were taking place last night with a view to pushing back their Leinster first-round fixture by 24 hours to the Bank Holiday Monday afternoon to facilitate the Laois football final replay.

Portlaoise and Emo drew last Sunday and the intention was to replay the game on Thursday night because of the proximity of the Palatine game.

But it has emerged that Portlaoise and Emo have five players between them who are based in the UK and it would not be possible to press ahead with a Thursday night game.

Instead both sides have agreed to play the match on Saturday at 6.30 in O'Moore Park, with the winners in action in Netwatch Cullen Park barely 18 hours later, with a 2.30 Sunday throw-in.

"Both teams have agreed to Saturday night and will play again on Sunday if they have to," confirmed Laois chairman Gerry Kavanagh.

Laois champions have found themselves in this situation before. In 2003 Arles-Kilcruise won a county championship on a Saturday and then beat Carlow champions O'Hanrahan's by a point the following day.

In 1997 Stradbally won their first Laois title in 56 years but lost to Longford champions Fr Manning Gaels the following day.


Meanwhile the secretary of one of the two clubs who refused to play in Westmeath's minor hurling final because it was the curtain-raiser to the senior final involving the same clubs with a crossover of players has said they were only doing it to "protect their players."

Raharney's Brendan Shaw says he hopes a solution can be found to the impasse which saw Westmeath County Board insist on the game going ahead despite the dual involvement of at least three players.

Clonkill beat Raharney in the senior final but Shaw says there is "bad feeling" over the board's insistence that the game had to go ahead. The clubs agreed late in the week not to play it and now face disqualification, fines and even suspension if the full weight of the rules are applied.

Shaw insisted it was a player welfare issue, saying: "We didn't want some of our players involved in 120 minutes of hurling."

He said the fixing of minor and senior finals on the same day had been pushed through at last year's convention and was not the wish of the hurling clubs. He also said the minor board could have been stronger in standing up to the county board on the matter.

"Refixing the game is the perfect solution for everyone involved," said Shaw. "If that happens it will be quickly forgotten about."

Irish Independent

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