Tipperary manager Kearns fuming with Ulster venue for Derry qualifier

Tipperary manager Kearns fuming with Ulster venue for Derry qualifier
Liam Kearns believes his players will be at a disadvantage on Saturday.

Tipperary manager Liam Kearns is demanding answers from GAA fixtures chiefs after the Premier County were fixed to play Derry at an Ulster venue in next Saturday’s All-Ireland SFC round 4A qualifier, writes Jackie Cahill.

Kearns estimates that Tipperary will have to travel at least an hour further than Derry for the tie at Kingspan Breffni Park in Cavan.

And he also believes that Derry have an unfair advantage in that they beat Cavan at the same venue in last Saturday’s qualifier clash.

Kearns revealed that Tipperary pushed for Pearse Stadium in Salthill or Tullamore’s O’Connor Park but those pleas fell on deaf ears.

And he’s queried when Pearse Stadium couldn’t have staged a double-header on Saturday – as Clare and Roscommon have been fixed to play there.

Kearns fumed: “I don’t know what the rationale was for choosing the venue.

“It’s a lovely pitch but it’s not a neutral venue and there are disparate travelling times for both teams.

“Some of our guys would need four hours to get from Tipperary to Cavan, while some of the Derry lads could make it in an hour and a half.

“I’d like somebody in the CCCC to explain how they came up with that.

“We went in looking for Galway or Tullamore. We might not have expected to get either of those venues but we didn’t expect Breffni Park.

“Could they not have played the two in Galway?”

Derry overcame Cavan in Breffni Park at the weekend.
Derry overcame Cavan in Breffni Park at the weekend.

Kearns added: “It’s also an Ulster venue and they (Derry) played there last Saturday.

“All of those factors are giving them an advantage. Clare are playing Roscommon at a Connacht venue but at least Galway is half-way between Clare and Roscommon.

“We’ll go up the night before. You can’t do a four-hour bus journey and perform.

“I’m not sure yet whether we’ll go all the way. We’ll probably stay somewhere two-thirds of the way and go from there on Saturday.”

Kearns will be without Shane O’Connell, who came on as a sub in the Munster final defeat to Kerry, and Ian Fahey because of injury.

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