Connacht chiefs sweat on New York arrival

CONNACHT GAA officials will make a decision tonight about whether they can stage Saturday’s ESB MFC quarter-final tie in Pearse Stadium between Galway and New York due to the air travel restrictions caused by the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland.

The New York squad are due to travel to Ireland today but there is a massive doubt over whether they will be able to board a flight in order to fulfil the fixture.

Connacht Council secretary John Prenty confirmed yesterday that a contingency plan is in place to hold the game on Saturday, May 8 instead and insisted they remain hopeful that Sunday week’s provincial SFC opener between the two counties in Gaelic Park will not be affected by the volcanic ash cloud.

“We are under pressure at the minute in trying to play the minor game,” said Prenty. “The situation is that the New York team and mentors are going to the airport to see if they can get on a plane and get a flight to Ireland. We’ve been in close contact with their officials about the situation and feel that’s the best thing to do at the moment. If they aren’t able to travel, then we’re going to postpone it until May 8.

“At the moment we don’t think it’s going to be a problem for the senior match. Obviously we’ll have to play it by ear and see how the situation develops over the next week. It’s an unprecedented situation to be dealing with it and we’ll have to literally wait until the dust settles.”

Meanwhile inter-county squads planning warm-weather training camps have also been affected by the volcanic ash cloud and have been forced to base themselves at Irish venues instead.

Anthony Daly’s Dublin squad were due to fly out to La Manga yesterday for a five-day training camp ahead of their Leinster SHC quarter-final on June 6 but had to ditch those plans and instead the squad will spend the week at Breaffy International Sports Hotel, outside Castlebar.

Tipperary’s senior hurlers will spend the week at Kildare’s spectacular Carton House hotel after their warm-weather training trip to Spain was also cancelled.

County board officials had explored a number of avenues after plans to visit the Campomar hotel in Guardamar, close to Alicante, were shelved. Tipperary PRO Ger Ryan confirmed Premier County officials will not be out of pocket after the trip to Spain was cancelled. “It’s about the team getting to work together in a concentrated and private environment. We have that and, in the overall scheme of things, it’s not a major inconvenience. The real reason for travelling abroad, despite some criticism that we might receive, is for good weather and we have it here at the moment.”

Meanwhile fears surrounding the fitness of captain Eoin Kelly have been allayed as the hamstring problem which forced him out of last Sunday’s NHL victory in Offaly has been diagnosed as a grade one injury which will rule him out of training for up to 10 days. David Young, who was also injured against Offaly, won’t arrive in Kildare until tomorrow as he is on crutches after the Tullamore win while the injurysustained by Darragh Egan last Sunday is not serious.

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