Saturday 15 December 2018

Damien Fitzhenry: Leinster relegation is 'shame' of hurling

 

Wexford legend Damien Fitzhenry pictured at the launch of this year’s Bord Gáis Energy GAA Legends Tour Series at Croke Park. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Wexford legend Damien Fitzhenry pictured at the launch of this year’s Bord Gáis Energy GAA Legends Tour Series at Croke Park. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Wexford legend Damien Fitzhenry believes the GAA are "cutting their nose off to spite their face" by relegating Dublin or Offaly from the Leinster SHC.

Their do-or-die clash in Parnell Park on Sunday will see the losers slip back down a tier with the Joe McDonagh Cup winners taking their place for the 2019 campaign but Fitzhenry feels it's "completely unfair".

"It looks like it was a shot in the dark now, really, and to do it within Leinster when you could lose all your games in Munster and you're still up there, they're cutting their nose off to spite their face, really, with that one," said the 1996 All-Ireland winner.

"It's completely unfair that some county within the championship will be taken out of it. It's probably something that they're trying out at the minute and there definitely can be a few tweaks made in it."

One of the changes Fitzhenry suggests is a break after two games of the provincial round-robin - something also endorsed by Model boss Davy Fitzgerald - while he sees no reason why the Leinster SHC couldn't facilitate six teams and avoid relegation.

"Anything would be better. The whole thing is to try and get teams to have as many games as possible, and to make hurling obviously a better game.

"But they won't do that by relegating a team down," the two-time All-Star added.

"To see the chance of Offaly actually going out and not being in the Leinster championship, it's a shame, really. I also can't understand why it has to be run off like that when we can sort out a week or two somewhere.

"One week is not going to make a huge amount of difference, you could make it that every team plays two rounds and then there's a week's break."

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