Cork fixtures to go ahead despite deferral request

Peadar Healy

Peadar Healy’s failed request to have club championship games called off this weekend has not soured relations between the Cork football management and the county board, according to Ger Lane.

The county board chairman confirmed yesterday all club championship games initially scheduled for this weekend will go ahead, including the three SFC fixtures earmarked for Saturday which involve members of the Cork panel.

In the wake of Saturday’s one-point Munster SFC semi-final win over Tipperary, Cork manager Peadar Healy revealed he had mailed the board chairman requesting the Nemo Rangers v Bishopstown, Duhallow v Seandún and Clonakilty v Muskerry games be postponed to allow Cork a three-week uninterrupted run leading into the provincial final on July 2.

Lane informed Healy later on Saturday his request would not be acceded to. 

“Peadar had made a request by email 10 days before the semi-final. I replied to him the games in question fell outside the 13-day rule, but I did say to him, ‘let’s beat Tipperary first, anyway’. 

"I spoke to him after the game in relation to the decision of the CCC who had met to discuss his request. Their decision was the games would go ahead.”

Relations between the board executive and the football camp, he stressed, remain amicable.

“The relationship is always good. On a personal level, I would have a very good relationship with the football management. Even though I am chairman of the board, I am the liaison officer with them. 

"I see no issue with them looking for their extra week. But the decision of the CCC is otherwise. For the overall greater good, we have to let the club games go ahead.

“We are doing nothing different to what we have done in the past. Our normal criteria for the Munster final is 13 days. It would be most unusual to give a three-week run into the Munster final and put off all our games.”

Central to the decision of the fixture-makers, Lane added, was the balancing act that needs to be struck between club and inter-county.

“We have to try to keep everyone happy. While we would be sympathetic towards the footballers and allowing them to get the best preparation they can, we also have an obligation to the fixtures and to the overall club scene in Cork. As a result, we can’t put off the games next weekend.

“Clubs are anxious and want to play next weekend. We have a lot of dual clubs who are still involved in both codes. On that basis also, we cannot put off the games.”

Should the Cork hurlers overcome Waterford this weekend, they too will face club fixtures a fortnight before the Munster final. There will be no preferential treatment. 

Two SHC games involving a plethora of Cork hurlers took place on June 4, affording Kieran Kingston’s management the same period of preparation the footballers are now faced with.

“If the hurlers get to the final, games will be played in the same period of time.”


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