Wednesday 14 November 2018

Wicklow champs could face two games in 24 hours

James Stafford celebrates after Wicklow’s victory in the Tommy Murphy Cup final in 2007. Photo: Sportsfile
James Stafford celebrates after Wicklow’s victory in the Tommy Murphy Cup final in 2007. Photo: Sportsfile

Martin Breheny

The first fixture-cramming controversy of the county final/ provincial championship season is heading Wicklow's way after last Sunday's Rathnew-St Patrick's senior football final finished level.

With players from both clubs involved in the Glenealy v Carnew county hurling final next Sunday, the football replay had to be put back to Saturday week.

However, the Wicklow champions are due to pay Rhode (Offaly) in the Leinster football first round on Sunday week.

If the Leinster Council insist on their schedule - which has been in place for months - being maintained, it will leave Rathnew or St Patrick's facing two big games inside 24 hours.

There could be similar problems for Kildare or Westmeath, both of whom stage their county finals next Sunday.

The winners are due to face each other in the Leinster first round a week later, so a draw next Sunday would cause problems.

Defending Leinster champions Moorefield play Athy in the Kildare final while Mullingar Shamrocks face St Loman's in the Westmeath decider.

It's likely that Rathnew and St Patrick's will press for a postponement of the Leinster first-round game, but that can only happen if Rhode and the Leinster Council agree.

The Club Players Association, who have consistently highlighted fixture problems, will, no doubt, be monitoring developments in a year when the compressed inter-county programme was supposed to leave more room for local activity.

Irish Independent

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