Relief as McGrath Cup gets go-ahead

The McGrath Cup will be going ahead, despite the withdrawals of Clare, Limerick and Tipperary and likely absence of Waterford.

Munster third level colleges board chairman John Corcoran has received confirmation in writing from provincial secretary Simon Moroney that the competition will be going ahead.

The draw for the pre-season knockout tournament is set to take place on Thursday.

Cork and Kerry are expected to be in the bowl, along with five or six colleges including UCC, Cork IT, UL, Limerick IT and IT Tralee.

Corcoran said it’s a relief the McGrath Cup is going ahead after the four county panels’ boycott in protest at the seeded format of next year’s Munster senior football championship.

With colleges and universities from other provinces involved in pre-season competitions, he feared the Munster teams would have had to play catch-up in building up to the Sigerson Cup.

“I have it in writing from the CEO [Moroney] and verbal confirmation from chairman Robert Frost over the weekend that it will be going ahead,” said the former Cork selector.

“From a third level perspective, it’s great because they would have been at a marked disadvantage in their preparations for the Sigerson Cup.

“It was concerning because there was some talk it might not go ahead but thankfully wiser counsel has prevailed. What the four counties want to do is up to them. All the colleges are for it. Had it not gone ahead, we’d have been running a Munster colleges competition in January.”

UCC Gaelic games development officer John Grainger appreciates why the players from the four counties have opted out of the McGrath Cup. However, he knows its importance to the university.

“It provides invaluable preparations. I can understand where the counties are coming from but our viewpoint would be we’d love it to continue.

“It always throws up the possibility of a glamour tie against Cork or Kerry.”


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