Crusheen and Na Piarsaigh face Semple replay
MUNSTER Council said yesterday that they would prefer to play next weekend's provincial club hurling final replay in Ennis or Limerick, but said it is returning to Semple Stadium because Na Piarsaigh were not willing to toss for venue.
There was some disquiet that the drawn game, between the Limerick champions and Crusheen of Clare, was played in Thurles last Sunday, particularly when it attracted such a paltry crowd (2,893) which was lost in the large venue and resulted in very little atmosphere for such a big game.
But Munster Council was adamant yesterday that the reason the game went to Semple in the first place was because Na Piarsaigh were not willing to toss for venue.
Provincial chairman Sean Walsh said that when the Limerick city club were offered the option of tossing for venue again yesterday for next Sunday's replay, they again turned down the offer, which means the game automatically returns to Munster hurling's HQ.
"We offered the clubs the option of tossing for venue," Walsh said. "Na Piarsaigh came back to us first saying they did not want to toss for venue, which meant there was no point in pursuing it with Crusheen.
"We asked both clubs yesterday if they wanted to toss for the venue for the replay, but again Na Piarsaigh came back to us quickly saying they didn't want that, so that is how the issue was decided.
"From our point of view, we would rather see the game in the Gaelic Grounds or Ennis," Walsh said. "Either of those venues would probably have suited supporters better and also helped create more atmosphere, but if there is no agreement on it then we have to go with a neutral venue."
There was also criticism of last Sunday's ticket price -- €20 -- but, as is usual with Munster games, all entry tickets for the replay will automatically cost €5 less and the match programmes will also be €1 cheaper. The game takes place in Semple Stadium next Sunday at 2.0.