Sport Hurling

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Kilcormac-Killoughey in 'club v county' dispute

Ger Healion in action for Kilcormac-Killoughey
Ger Healion in action for Kilcormac-Killoughey
Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

Some of Offaly's top hurlers have been caught up in the latest club-versus-county row which caused Kilcormac-Killoughey to pull out of the second round of the county's senior football championship last night.

The club's hurling success – they are two-in-a-row county champions and contested the All-Ireland club final in 2013 – means they have seven players on the Offaly senior hurling panel.

Their club wanted the county hurling management to release the group – including Ger Healion, Dan Currams, Conor Mahon, Ciaran Slevin and Peter Geraghty, for a training session on Tuesday night – to prepare for last night's SFC match with St Rynagh's.

When they weren't given access to their players, Kilcormac- Killoughey refused to play and sought a re-fixture.

Club chairman Brendan Mahon said they have "bent over backwards" to try to facilitate the county hurlers.

"They wanted our players for a challenge game against Dublin last Sunday and we said go ahead," Mahon said.

"All we asked was that we'd have them back for the start of this week so that we could get one training session in on Tuesday night ahead of our game with Rynagh's.

"That would have been our only football training session before this game. But pressure was put on the players to train with the hurlers on Tuesday and that's what happened," he said.

"We haven't been dealing with the hurling management. That is the county board's job, we deal directly with them.

"Pressure shouldn't be applied to individual players like this, this should have been sorted out between the board and the hurling management and unfortunately we are caught in between," he added.

With Offaly's hurlers playing Kilkenny on June 7, Kilcormac- Killoughey felt it was reasonable to ask for their players to be released for one training session ahead of the second round of the football championship.

"If it goes on like this, players won't be able to play both. You get the impression that's what some people want," Mahon said.

Irish Independent

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