LGFA move semi-final to accommodate Cork's dual players

LGFA move semi-final to accommodate Cork's dual players

The Ladies Gaelic Football Association have moved the senior Ladies Football semi-final between Cork and Donegal back a week to accommodate the Rebel county's dual players.

The Cork ladies footballers were due to face Donegal on Saturday, August 18, the same day as the Cork camogie team play their All-Ireland semi-final against Tipperary (Thurles, 7.15pm).

The LGFA have now reviewed the fixtures and made the changes having "worked extremely hard behind the scenes in recent days to find a compromise".

Both senior Ladies Football semi-finals will now be played on Saturday, August 25, with Cork facing Donegal at 2.45pm and the winners of the remaining quarter-final fixtures – Dublin v Kerry and Galway v Mayo – featuring at 4.30pm.

Cork forward Eimear Scally had pleaded with the LGFA to move the date of Cork’s All-Ireland football semi-final so dual players Hannah Looney and Libby Coppinger are not forced to choose one code over the other.

Scally had said on Monday: “We should be commending dual players, not punishing them by making them choose to play either camogie/football in what will be the biggest game in each code so far this year for them. This happens too often and it shouldn’t be an issue anymore. I hope sense will prevail here.”

The LGFA said they had flagged the potential of a dual clash involving Cork a number of weeks ago, and that came to pass when the county’s footballers qualified for the All-Ireland semi-final, which was scheduled for August 18.

LGFA CEO Helen O’Rourke said: “We announced the times and dates of our summer fixtures schedule last March, when it was clearly stated that our All-Ireland senior semi-finals would be played on August 18 and August 25.

“We stated at the time that finding suitable times for our televised fixtures proved extremely challenging, and that we felt restricted to a large degree, due to the GAA’s new, condensed fixtures schedule.

“When Cork qualified for the TG4 All-Ireland senior semi-final last weekend, a dual fixtures clash arose but, as an Association, we took it upon ourselves to find a solution suitable to all parties.

“It should be noted at this point that altering a fixtures schedule so late in the season has a significant knock-on effect and impact on club and county players in other counties, and that we had to negotiate a number of logistical and contractual issues on this occasion before arriving at this solution.

“It should also be pointed out that personal plans relating to some individuals, around previously confirmed holiday arrangements and family occasions, were also considered and factored into exhaustive discussions with various stakeholders.

“We would like to thank Donegal for agreeing to play their semi-final a week later, on August 25, and to our championship sponsors and broadcast partners TG4, who have had to revise a number of plans to accommodate this change.

“We would like to wish all of our counties competing in the senior, intermediate and junior championships the very best of luck for the remainder of their respective campaigns, and we look forward to seeing big crowds present for the games between now and finals day on September 16 at Croke Park.”

Tyrone will play Sligo in the first of the 2018 TG4 All-Ireland intermediate semi-finals on Saturday, August 18.

A week later, Saturday August 25 at 1pm, the second intermediate semi-final will be played, featuring the winners of the Clare v Meath and Roscommon v Laois quarter-final fixtures, which are down for decision tomorrow.

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