GAA forced to bend on April as club-only month

The GAA have been forced to upset their designation of April as a club-only month by staging the Allianz Football League Division 4 final on April 6 or 7.

The April 1 Division 1 and 2 football finals were supposed to be the only competitive inter-county games in the month, while the Division 3 and 4 deciders were to take place on March 31.

However, the recent poor weather, which saw the GAA postpone all 33 of last weekend’s league fixtures across the two codes, has given rise to a number of issues such as Laois having already booked their flights to face London in Ruislip this weekend so as to avoid a clash with the St Patrick’s Day weekend rush.

Leitrim were supposed to head across the Irish Sea last Saturday but will now try a second time on March 31 or April 1. Laois will also face Antrim that weekend in what could be a game in which promotion is at play.

The Dublin-Kerry Division 1 clash has moved from a Saturday evening to Sunday afternoon (4pm) throw-in. Visiting manager Éamonn Fitzmaurice is involved with Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne in Saturday’s rescheduled Corn Uí Mhuirí final in Killarney, while there were concerns about the number of gardaí that would be available for the Croke Park game as the Ireland-Scotland Six Nations game kicks off at the Aviva Stadium at 2.15pm and there is also a pro-life rally in the capital that afternoon.

Other than the London-Leitrim game, the Dublin-Kerry game is the only match that won’t be played as per the original Saturday programme of matches. 

The Division 3 game between Wexford and Offaly goes ahead in Innovate Wexford Park on Saturday (3pm) instead of Sunday as does the Limerick-Waterford Division 4 clash, moving venue from Newcastlewest to the Staker Wallaces pitch in Martinstown (7pm).

As was revealed on Thursday, the Division 1 hurling final has been scheduled for March 31 with the quarter-finals on March 17/18 and the semi-finals arranged for March 24/25.

The Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) said arrangements for relegation play-offs and finals in the other hurling divisions will be confirmed following a meeting on March 12.

It is expected the Bord na Móna O’Byrne Cup game between Westmeath and Meath set for Mullingar will be rearranged for a third time. March 31 or April 1 looks the likeliest dates providing neither team reaches their respective divisional finals.

Corofin’s Martin Farragher will this week have his Central Hearings Committee meeting to contest his second-minute red card against Moorefield so that he is free to play against Nemo Rangers in Saturday week’s All-Ireland Club SFC final.

Elsewhere, the AIB All-Ireland senior and intermediate club championship camogie finals, also postponed because of Storm Emma, have the new date of March 18 at Croke Park. In the senior game, Galway’s Sarsfields and Slaughtneil of Derry throw-in at 3.30pm and the intermediate affair between Athenry and Kildare’s Johnstownbridge has a 1.30pm start.



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