The Limerick City board met last night to discuss the fallout from St Patricks’ decision to concede Sunday’s City division JAHC final, with St Patrick’s club official Hammy Dawson castigating officials for expecting players to fulfil two fixtures less than 24 hours apart.
St Patrick’s were due to meet Na Piarsaigh at 1pm in the divisional hurling final but sought a postponement, given 13 of the team were lining out for the club’s senior football team in Saturday evening’s county quarter-final against Fr Casey’s.
Neither the board nor Na Piarsaigh were willing to grant a postponement and so the decision was taken by St Patrick’s to give Na Piarsaigh a walkover and, in the process, a free pass to the weekend’s county quarter-final.
This is the second time in three years that the Rhebogue club has felt compelled to concede a championship fixture with potential player burnout in mind. Dawson staged a sit-down protest before the 2014 final after St Patrick’s had conceded the semi-final owing to the involvement of several of their players with Limerick’s senior and intermediate hurling teams on the same weekend.
“They forced us into a walkover in 2014 and the same has happened here. You’d be on about trying to move on hurling in Limerick City. This is just doing the opposite,” he said.
“The City board knew we were playing football on the Saturday evening and yet they still went ahead and fixed the hurling final for Sunday afternoon. There is a crossover of 13 between the two starting teams. It was just a ludicrous, crazy fixture.
“I have been contacted by a lot of clubs in the county over the last three or four days and people were saying, ‘just play it and see if there is a vendetta against ye’. Common sense should have prevailed.
“The players made known their feelings early last week that they didn’t want to play both games on the one weekend. So, we tried to do everything in our power to get it changed. We had a situation then where three of our lads had dead legs on Saturday night after the football game. You go on about player burnout. It was ludicrous.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved