While the proposed changes to the county junior hurling championship were the source of much debate at last night’s Cork County Board meeting, a decision was put back until the next gathering.
At the Nemo Rangers complex, the first meeting of the year was well attended and the proposal by the board’s Competitions Control Committee to alter the junior hurling, and junior and U21 football competitions, dominated.
County chairman Ger Lane said that, after the suggestion of a premier junior hurling championship was rebuffed last year, two divisions had suggested allowing divisional champions and runners-up to progress and this was worthy of discussion.
Freemount delegate John O’Flynn asked that a decision be delayed so the proposal could be allowed a proper airing, as many clubs hadn’t been properly informed. He also questioned the CCC’s authority to propose changes.
Lane refuted this, saying the authority was set out in rule and that the amendments were not a huge change, as it happens at a number of levels.
“Surely, it’s not irresponsible of us to ask two teams to come forward from each division, giving more teams and players games?
“It’s irresponsible to say nobody was aware of this, my info is that clubs are happy with the proposed new format.”
Muskerry chairman Pat Malone said not all divisional officers had gone home happy from the meeting where divisions were informed of the new format, while Denis Gayer (Castlemagner) called it an “attack on the divisions”.
Donal Lyons of Brian Dillons said that there were some good points but, as the city clubs hadn’t discussed it, the decision should be deferred.
Donal McSweeney (Ballinora) said to “reject the changes for any technical reason would be totally wrong, the back door has been around for 20 years”.
Don Hegarty (Carraig na bhFear) felt there was a “very strong plus with regard to increase in games” if the change was made.
Board coaching officer Kevin O’Donovan was one of the last to speak.
“I’m against the proposals for two reasons: It downgrades the divisional championships and the idea of including two wildcards, chosen by the CCC, is unprecedented. I don’t want to come across as anti-board, but these are two big concerns.”
In other business, Munster Council delegate Marc Sheehan said Cork’s request to host both of this year’s Munster senior finals in the redeveloped Páirc Uí Chaoimh was broadly supported, but depending on the identity of the four finalists, existing home-and-away arrangements may dictate otherwise.
Former Cork hurler Cian McCarthy was included on the list of proposed transfers, seeking a move from Sarsfields to Douglas in hurling. McCarthy’s father, dual All-Ireland winner Teddy, stood down as Sars manager recently. That transfer, and the others sought, are to be dealt with by the CCC.
Pat Horgan (Midleton), Eamonn Landy (Mayfield), Dick Fitzgerald (Russell Rovers) and John Crean (Aghabullogue) were elected as club representatives to the board’s executive.
Saturday, February 18
All-Ireland Club IHC final:
Ahascragh/Fohenagh (Galway) v Carrickshock (Kilkenny), Croke Park, 4.45pm
All-Ireland Club JHC final:
Mayfield (Cork) v Mooncoin (Kilkenny), Croke Park, 3pm
Sunday, February 19
All-Ireland Club IFC final:
St Colmcille’s (Meath) v Westport (Mayo), Croke Park, 3.45pm
All-Ireland Club JFC final:
Glenbeigh-Glencar (Kerry) v Rock St Patrick’s (Tyrone), Croke Park, 2pm
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