Monday 23 October 2017

Dubs tie set for HQ switch

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The Leinster Council are today expected to confirm Croke Park as the venue for the Leinster hurling quarter-final between Dublin and Offaly on May 29.

The provincial body are meeting to finalise minor fixtures, but on the back of Dublin’s Allianz Hurling League success on Sunday, there is now an anticipation that 30,000 may want to attend the fixture and that virtually guarantees Croke Park as the venue.

There were 42,000 in Croke Park on Sunday to witness Dublin’s first Division 1 hurling title in 72 years, though many were there for the All-Ireland U-21 football final. Dublin chairman Andy Kettle has already stated their desire to have the fixture moved there from Parnell Park and it is not likely to be met with any opposition. Parnell Park can only cater for 9,500.

The success of the Dublin hurlers in beating Kilkenny by 12 points has raised their profile considerably and is expected to attract a much wider audience.

The only hitch for the Leinster Council is the apparent reluctance of both Wexford and Laois to double up and make the programme even more attractive on May 29.

If Laois beat Antrim in their preliminary-round fixture they will have home advantage but are unwilling to cede home advantage to Croke Park. Wexford, who meet the winners of Laois and Antrim and will have home advantage if it is Antrim, are of the same opinion.

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