New Leinster Council chairman John Horan admits it was a ‘no brainer’ to move the Walsh Cup hurling final to Croke Park this evening.
And the novel move could pay off on the double as poor weather may have made the original venue, Parnell Park, unplayable anyhow. Leinster champions Dublin had been scheduled to host Brian Cody’s Kilkenny at their Donnycarney base tomorrow once both sides reached the decider. But the decision was quickly taken to bring the early season glamour tie forward to the under card of this evening’s Allianz Football League opener between Dublin and Kerry.
It’s a move that Horan estimated could add on around 5,000 to the crowd at GAA Headquarters. It may also ensure that the game actually goes ahead because with a poor weather forecast there’s every chance Parnell Park may have been unplayable, like it was for Dublin’s opener with UCD.
“There’s obviously half a chance that bad weather could leave Parnell Park in difficulty so it makes sense on a number of levels to play at Croke Park,” said Horan.
“When I got the phone call about potentially moving the game I thought it was a no brainer, there was no need to even debate it. It was just ‘yes’. It’s fallen very nicely into our hands and will be a great occasion.”
The grudge tie will be a repeat of last summer’s Leinster championship clashes which Dublin edged after a replay. They beat UCD 2-20 to 2-15 in the quarter-final and beat Wexford by a point last weekend thanks to Paul Ryan’s 1-7 haul.
As for Kilkenny, they’ll hand more early season game time to Henry Shefflin, who hit 13 points in a rare Walsh Cup appearance against Galway last weekend. Both teams open their Allianz Hurling League accounts a fortnight from tomorrow with Dublin away to Galway and Kilkenny travelling to Clare.
DUBLIN (SH v Kilkenny): A Nolan; C O'Callaghan, P Kelly, J Dougan; S Hiney, C McCormack, J Boland; S Durkin, J McCaffrey; C Keaney, R O'Dwyer, C Cronin; P Ryan, D O'Callaghan, M Schutte.
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