Tuesday 12 December 2017

Galway hurlers a step closer to leaving Leinster and joining Munster Championship

Tribe hurlers seeking full 'home and away' access

Galway hurlers celebrate with the Bob O’Keeffe Cup after winning the Leinster SHC title in 2012. Photo: Sportsfile
Galway hurlers celebrate with the Bob O’Keeffe Cup after winning the Leinster SHC title in 2012. Photo: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Galway hurlers have moved a step closer to waving goodbye to Leinster and switching to the Munster Championship with a discussion now on the table for next month's county convention.

A motion is to be brought by the Liam Mellows club and seeks to authorise the county board to approach the Munster Council with a view to joining the province at all levels for the 2018 season.

The move comes amid growing unrest out west at the arrangement currently in place with Leinster. In the eight seasons and 23 matches played since joining the province, Galway haven't hosted a single Leinster Championship game while their underage teams operate outside the province.

The motion asks that the "Official Guide 2016 be amended to allow access to all Inter-County Hurling Teams from Galway - Minor, U-21, Junior, Intermediate and Senior to participate fully in all relevant Tier 1 Competitions in a single Provincial System" and that Galway officials are "further authorised to make an immediate application to Comhairle Mumhan, to be fully included in all their Provincial Championships and Competitions, at all grades of Inter-County Hurling from 2018 forward."

It's understood Galway would be seeking access to full home-and-away arrangements which are not currently in place in Leinster. County convention takes place in Galway on Monday, December 12.

In football, Dublin will start their drive for a third successive All-Ireland title with a game on the road against either Wexford or Carlow on the weekend of June 3/4.

Leinster fixture-makers met last night and after deliberations they decided that for the second season in a row, the Dubs would start their campaign away from Croke Park. Should Wexford win, Jim Gavin's men will travel to Wexford Park to take on the side now managed by former Meath and Monaghan manager Seamus 'Banty' McEnaney.

However, should Carlow emerge victorious, the game will be played in O'Moore Park. That fixture that will pique interest in Laois as the venue was deemed unsuitable for their clash the Dubs earlier this year.

This will be the second season that the Dubs have started their summer away from the confines of Croke Park. There had long been calls for Dublin, who have won 12 of the last 13 provincial titles, to be forced to play some of their games away from HQ and the Leinster counties relented last year when they sent Dublin to Kilkenny's Nowlan Park to face Laois.

It was the first time since 2006, when they were dispatched to face Longford in Pearse Park, that Dublin had played championship outside of Croke Park. However, it did little to rein in their dominance in Leinster as they ran out 11-point winners.

Irish Independent

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