Tuesday 21 November 2017

Club semi-finals moved away from 'frozen' Thurles

Henry Shefflin
Henry Shefflin
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The GAA have been forced to move tomorrow's AIB All-Ireland club hurling semi-finals out of Thurles because of an unplayable pitch.

Almost half the Semple Stadium surface on the Kinane Stand side has been frozen for much of the week, forcing the Central Competition Controls Committee to switch both semi-finals to Leinster venues.

Ballyhale Shamrocks and Henry Shefflin will now meet Galway champions Gort in O'Connor Park in Tullamore with Kilmallock and Portaferry's semi-final taking place in Cusack Park, Mullingar.

However, both games will now take place simultaneously with 2pm throw-ins because neither venue has floodlights.

CCCC were prevented from playing the games at O'Moore Park in Portlaoise because Laois host Cavan in the Allianz Football League tomorrow evening.

Pairc Tailteann in Navan could have been considered for Kilmallock/Portaferry but Meath are playing Kildare in another Division 2 clash later in the evening too.

Ironically, the choice of Thurles as a venue did not go down well with Portaferry given the distance they would have to travel.

In contrast, Kilmallock is only an hour's drive away from Semple Stadium. Switching the game to Mullingar instead will clip at least an hour off Portaferry's travel time.

Irish Independent

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