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Leinster set to play entire senior hurling programme in Croke Park


Croke Park. Photo: Sportsfile

Croke Park. Photo: Sportsfile

Croke Park. Photo: Sportsfile

Leinster GAA looks set to play all four hurling championship matches in Croke Park.

The province has yet to confirm the venues for all its senior championship games but the original plan to play the hurling games at Croke Park now looks like it will be adhered to.

The delay over finalising venues was because Dublin was in Level 3 of the State's living with Covid plan while the rest of the province was at Level 2 with up to 200 spectators allowed. But with the country now at Level 3 entirely, the spectator issue has been removed in the short term.

In football, All-Ireland champions Dublin are on the road to Portlaoise on Saturday, November 7 to play Westmeath, a game Westmeath felt that they should have home advantage for at TEG Cusack Park in Mullingar if there were no crowds or even a low limit of 500 or 1,000.

But with a 6.15 throw-in, to accommodate a live TV broadcast on Sky Sports, and a limited number of venues in the province that have floodlights, it became a choice between O'Moore Park and Croke Park and in keeping with recent years, Leinster has opted to take Dublin away from the capital for a quarter-final.

Other games with early-afternoon throw-ins will not require floodlighting and will, in most cases, be played at the home venue of one of the teams.

Leinster has four venues with adequate lighting in the province, two of which are in the capital, Croke Park and Parnell Park. Portlaoise's O'Moore Park and Carlow's Netwatch Cullen Park complete the list.

The first game of the championship is the Leinster quarter-final between Dublin and Laois which throws in at 6.0 on Saturday week, October 24.

The winners play Kilkenny on the following weekend with Wexford and Galway meeting in the other semi-final on Saturday, October 31, with a 6.15 throw-in. The final is scheduled for Saturday, November 14 at 6.15, again with Croke Park the venue.

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