Time to scrap absurd nomination idea

WHOEVER in the GAA came up with the idea of nominating a club to represent their division in a county championship has a lot to answer for.

Having won the Cork JAHC title last Sunday, Charleville must put the title on the line this weekend when they play Kildorrery in the final of their Avondhu division.

There is a lot at stake. Apart from being crowned county champions, the winners will be promoted to the IHC for 2012.

Charleville have now won three rounds of the county championship, including the final, as well as a number of games in their own division. Yet all that could be for nought next Sunday should they lose the final. Is that fair?

The game against Kildorrery will be Charleville’s third in a row while their opponents have been inactive for close on a fortnight since their semi-final win over Clyda Rovers. Where is the sense of fair play in that?

Should Charleville win, they face a Munster semi-final against either the Clare or Kerry champions the following Sunday. That’s four crunch games in as many weeks.

Conditions for hurling at this time of the year are never good and can be very demanding on players, both physically and mentally.

Teams in a final should be given reasonable time to prepare and go into it with at least a 50/50 chance of success.

Circumstances completely outside their control prevented the North Cork divisional final being played before next Sunday.

The division enjoyed a good run in the Cork SFC, reaching the semi-final before going out to UCC, all that after playing seven games in the competition.

Clyda Rovers who backboned that team, got to the final of the Cork Premier IFC after playing six games. Coupled with that they had two players involved with Cork seniors up to the middle of August, and nothing moved while that was going on.

Kildorrery who play their football at intermediate level, enjoyed a good championship run, reaching the semi-final before bowing out to eventual winners Kinsale.

All that activity is bound to have a knock on effect elsewhere and clubs, particularly dual ones, are the piggy in the middle.

It was hugely disappointing for Charleville last Sunday not to be able to give vent to their feelings after beating Mayfield in the Cork county final. It was their first ever success at this level but there was a huge sense of anti-climax.

Surely both players and their followers deserved to be able to let off steam after such an historic victory.

Charleville chairman Mike Walsh wasn’t apportioning blame, but was disappointed at the turn of events.

“Credit to the North Cork Board, they did all they could to try and meet the deadline for the divisional championships, but circumstances went against them,” said Walsh.

“We were nominated to represent the division and we could only do what was asked of us.

“It’s very tough on our players to come to Páirc Uí Rinn, one of the best pitches in the county, and in front of a huge crowd, win a county title and not be able to celebrate it.

“If the divisional final cannot be played before the designated date because of outside influences, then there should be some mechanism whereby the county and provisional championships could be put back a week or two.

“One way or another now Charleville find themselves in the ridiculous situation of having put their hard won county title on the line next Sunday in a divisional final, and could lose the lot. That is not right.”

Should it happen to Charleville this Sunday, it will hurt a lot also.

While club officials know the implications of nomination, players and supporters will find it hard to understand why the county title will have to be given up after winning it on the field of play.

It’s time for this ridiculous rule to be deleted from the rulebook.

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