Schools argue toss over replay venue

If exchanges on the pitch were fiercely contested, they were no less competitive when management got around to discussing the replay of the Corn Uí Mhuirí final next Sunday.

Schools argue toss over replay venue

Or more precisely, the venue for Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne-Rochestown College II.

Rochestown manager Liam Ó Murchu told the Irish Examiner it would be “absolutely appalling” if they were brought back down to Killarney for next weekend’s replay (the fixture is scheduled for Sunday, the same day as the Cork-Kerry Allianz League game at Páirc Uí Rinn).

“I asked already that the game wouldn’t be here. Pobalscoil have now played the last four finals at Dr Crokes grounds. We wanted to go to a neutral venue, even the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick or somewhere like that. I think it’s a joke, and we don’t feel it’s fair on us. They are so used to playing here, it confers an obvious advantage.”

He added: “What would be wrong with it being a curtain raiser to Cork-Kerry in the National League at Pairc Ui Rinn?”

Corca Dhuibhne manager Ciarán Moran was just as vexed when the argument was put to him about an alterative venue like Limerick. “We’re schools within counties, we’re not clubs. That’s as ridiculous as it sounds, and would go against the whole ethos of the game and the way it’s played. We had enough of that rubbish last year from the powers that be, dragging us over to (admittedly a fine surface in) Ballyvourney with no dressing rooms, subs on the line, and no facilities.

“Halfway between Dingle and Cork is Killarney, and no matter what geography you did at school it’s still Killarney. Limerick is not halfway between Dingle and Cork, it’s as simple as that.”

Munster PP Servicing Officer John Brennan said a decision would be made as quickly as possible, but intimated Dr Crokes was the likely venue for the replay on the basis of logistics and its size.

The Lewis Road venue was ideal for Saturday’s attendance of just over 1,500.

The whereabouts of next weekend’s renewal wasn’t the only thing bothering the respective management teams. Added Moran: “We missed some fairly basic chances, two from frees and another couple in front of goal. It’s a problem we seem to have this year. We were lucky to get out of it, switching off here and there with our tackling in the middle of the field, which allowed them to run at us and put under pressure going backwards.”

Ó Murchú felt their Harty Cup final loss wasn’t as much of an issue as the fact most of the players have been concentrating on hurling of late. He sad the footballers had only squeezed in two training sessions last week in preparation for Killarney. Corca Dhuibhne had been focusing on this game for three or four weeks, he added.

“We weren’t too unhappy to be only two points down at half-time because we hadn’t played well, our ball skills were poor, and we were making simple mistakes. Around midfield too, Corca Dhuibhne won a pile of breaking ball. And we lost the first 10 minutes of the second half too, but whatever is in this group of lads, they never ever give up. When you look at the likes of Seanie Powter, you know they’ll never die on you.”

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