Waterford lament ‘crazy’ scheduling

WATERFORD COUNTY BOARD officials contacted the GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) before this season’s league campaign about the clash this weekend between their footballers hosting Offaly in Dungarvan at the same their hurlers play Offaly in Tullamore, but received no reply about the prospect of organising a double-header.

The Division 3 football tie and the Division 1 hurling game are both scheduled for 2.30pm next Sunday but despite being aware of the crux when they published their 2011 master fixture list, they did not alter the games.

“It’s a crazy situation.” said Waterford chairman Tom Cunningham. “We met the CCCC before the league and informed them about the situation. They said they would look into it but we heard nothing since then. It’s too late to change anything now but they should have looked at it well in advance. It’s disappointing for both counties and very disheartening for supporter.”

Offaly chairman Pat Teehan agreed with Cunningham that the situation should have been resolved before the start of the league.

“Once the master fixture list came out, it was a matter for the CCCC to look into. When they did nothing, both counties had to live with it. Neither our hurlers or the Waterford footballers would have been happy to give up home advantage. On the week of the game, there’s little room for manoeuvre. But it should have been sorted out at the start.”

Meanwhile Limerick GAA chiefs had their request to put back the start of the Allianz Football League Division 3 clash against Westmeath by a half hour turned down by the CCCC.

The match in Newcastlewest is scheduled to take place at 2.30pm but Limerick looked to play it at 3pm in order to allow supporters attending the county hurler’s Division 2 tie against Kerry in Kilmallock at 1pm time to travel between the venues.

Three weeks ago Limerick held both their home football and hurling league ties in the Gaelic Grounds but the Ennis Road venue is out of action.

“The Gaelic Grounds is closed so that posed a problem for us in having a double-header,” revealed county board secretary Mike O’Riordan. “We looked at Kilmallock but our football management had a preference to hold their game in Newcastlewest. That venue doesn’t have four dressing rooms so we couldn’t hold two games there.

“Saturday was out for the hurlers because of Árd Scoil Rís playing in the colleges hurling final and Westmeath have dual players who are playing with their hurlers on Saturday.

“We then requested that Kerry bring forward the hurling match to 1pm which they had no problem with. We contacted Westmeath about bringing the football game to 3pm, which they agreed to, but the CCCC were against that plan. We’ve tried everything to accommodate supporters but unfortunately this is the best we could do.”

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