Ulster Council chiefs were forced into an embarrassing climbdown yesterday and forced to shelve the November 3 date for the decider between Antrim and Down — after the Saffron officials pointed out that November is a closed month for inter-county activity according to GAA rules.
The game didn’t go ahead on its scheduled date of July 7 after the semi-final between Down and Derry went to a replay.
Now it seems the 2013 Ulster senior hurling final will not be played until 2014, if at all.
Loughgiel manager PJ O’Mullan, whose team will be chasing a fourth Ulster club title in a row next week, said: “It’s farcical, I can’t believe it.
“Trying to promote an Ulster hurling final in the month of November was crazy. The powers that be should have looked at that and realised it was madness.”
O’Mullan realises Loughgiel’s success in coming out of Antrim and Ulster to win the All-Ireland title in 2012 was against all the odds.
“I don’t like criticising people and I know their jobs are hard, but this mess wouldn’t happen in any other province.
“It just shows the standard of where Ulster hurling is at, bar a couple of clubs. Ulster hurling is not good.”
Antrim chiefs also pointed out to the Ulster Council that three of the Saffrons hurling squad — Jackson McGreevy, Kieran McGourty and Karl Stewart — are due to represent their club St Gall’s in an Ulster club quarter-final on November 3, the same date they had fixed the ill-fated provincial hurling final.