Fitzmaurice calls time on earlier throw-in

Kerry have not requested a change to the 2pm throw-in time for Sunday’s Allianz Football League clash with Dublin in Killarney, even though it clashes with Ireland’s Six Nations rugby meeting with England (3pm).

Kerry GAA chairman Patrick O’Sullivan admitted they initially looked into getting the throw-in time moved back for fans but manager Éamonn Fitzmaurice’s All-Ireland Club IFC final with Finuge the evening before in Croke Park dictated there would be no change.

“We spoke to Éamonn and he was saying he was playing the night before in Dublin and the extra hour would give him time to get down,” he said.

“When it affected Eamon we decided not to.”

Dublin chairman Andy Kettle admitted he would not have opposed a change.

“If we were approached I’d have to talk to the football manager and see what his opinion was. I wouldn’t see any huge problem in changing the game back an hour because from a travelling point of view we’d be on the road home an hour earlier.

“However if I was asked I wouldn’t make a decision without consulting Jim Gavin. It’s a Kerry home game and they would have the final say.”

Meanwhile, London GAA officials have hailed the commonsense attitude used by the association to change the date of their fixture with Carlow due to this weekend’s rugby international.

The Exiles were being quoted astronomical figures by airlines for their match scheduled on the same day as the rugby in the Aviva Stadium. London County Board already pay the highest travelling costs of any national league team, but, due to the high demand on flights by English rugby fans, they would have been forced to far exceed their budget for the year had the game taken place.

“It was going to cost us something crazy like £400 to £500 per person,” said Declan Flanagan, London PRO. So we entered negotiations with Croke Park and it was agreed to put it back by a week to Saturday, February 16.

“It was very much appreciated that Carlow agreed to the change and I just think common sense was used. People could see it was one of those awkward weekends to travel and the costs were enormous.

“We’ve found, in general, the host counties have always helped us out.”

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