Monday 19 March 2018

Semple gets green light as Waterford agree deal for Thurles clash

Semple Stadium
Semple Stadium

Jackie Cahill

Semple Stadium was confirmed last night as the venue for the Munster senior hurling final on July 12.

Waterford and Tipperary have struck a deal to stage the provincial showpiece in Thurles, despite the fact that Tipp will have home advantage.

Walsh Park is simply unsuitable to host championship fixtures and Waterford do not have a home-and-away arrangement with Tipperary.

The regular venue for this fixture, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, is out of commission due to redevelopment work but Waterford have enjoyed huge success in Thurles this year and boss Derek McGrath was anxious to travel.

Waterford manager Derek McGrath
Waterford manager Derek McGrath

The respective Tipperary and Waterford county boards thrashed out an agreement on Monday evening and following a meeting of Munster Council's CCC (Competitions Control Committee) confirmation was released last night.

Waterford beat Cork in the Allianz League final and in the Munster quarter-final at Semple Stadium.

But the Déise lost the 2009 Munster final against Tipperary in Thurles after accepting €50,000 to allow the game to be played there as part of the GAA's 125 celebrations.

Limerick's Gaelic Grounds and Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney were ruled out as possible venues.

Meanwhile, the venue for the Connacht minor and senior football finals will be decided at a meeting of the provincial body this evening.

Sligo officials have been left with a difficult decision - travel two hours to Galway or travel a shorter distance to take on holders Mayo at their home venue, MacHale Park.

Six members of the Mayo squad sat out a round of club championship fixtures last weekend. Alan Dillon, Cillian O'Connor, Diarmuid O'Connor, Andy Moran, Kevin Keane and Tom Cunniffe were all sidelined but will return to county training shortly.

Irish Independent

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