Wexford’s hurlers and Kildare’s footballers may have failed to land provincial titles last summer but the presence of both counties in the respective 2017 deciders proved to be a winning combination for the Leinster Council.
The body’s annual accounts, released yesterday along with secretary Michael Reynold’s report, show the two senior finals were overwhelmingly to thank for their coffers being boosted, for the year ending October 2017, by €2,195,773.
Total income for the Leinster Council fell just €11,333 short of the €10m mark thanks, in the main, to those final attendances, both of which were streets ahead of those recorded for the corresponding fixtures in the preceding seasons.
The crowd of 66,734 that watched Dublin beat Kildare by nine points at Croke Park was almost 20,000 greater than the one registered when Westmeath fell to Jim Gavin’s all-conquering side in the previous two campaigns.
And the 60,032 people who took in the novel pairing of Galway and Wexford in the hurling decider was more or less double the audiences when Kilkenny had the Galway side’s number 12 and 24 months earlier at HQ.
“Sufficient to say that the progress or otherwise of our counties in the forthcoming Allianz Leagues will be a marker as to how summer 2018 may pan out for the province,” said Reynolds.
The Leinster Council recorded an operating surplus of over €1.2m compared to the €34,153 left in the pot in 2016, with a bump of €60,000 in commercial income and those attendances being diluted by increased costs in other areas.
Match expenses, for instance, jumped by €420,000, to €1,479,616; an extra half a million was handed over for ground development; and the player injury scheme required an additional €100,000 over the 12-month period.
Meanwhile, Limerick’s footballers have lost close to 30 years of inter-county experience with the news that Johnny McCarthy and Seanie Buckley have ended their time with the panel ahead of the 2018 campaign.
McCarthy debuted in 2004 and Buckley a year later. Both were absentees from the 33-man panel announced by manager Billy Lee for the Allianz League campaign.
Finally, the GAA has confirmed the details for the AIB All-Ireland Junior and Intermediate Club Championship games which were postponed two days ago due to the weather. All will now go ahead this Saturday, January 27, with 2pm throw-ins.
In intermediate football, the first semi-final between Michael Glaveys of Roscommon and Wexford’s Kilanerin will take place at St Loman’s, Mullingar. Kerry’s An Ghaeltacht face Moy Tír na nÓg of Tyrone in Semple Stadium.
The intermediate hurling semi-final between Cork’s Kanturk and Middletown Na Fianna of Armagh will be decided in St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge. The junior semi-final between Ardmore of Waterford and Donegal’s Setanta goes ahead at Navan’s Pairc Tailteann.
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