Treatment of ladies footballers under spotlight

The treatment of ladies football players is again under the spotlight after it emerged that the winners of tomorrow evening’s Cork senior final replay will be forced to play a third game in eight days at the weekend.

Last Saturday’s meeting of Mourneabbey and St Val’s ended all square at Cork IT, with the replay fixed for tomorrow evening at Carrigaline (8pm throw-in).

The winners will have just a three-day lay-off as the Munster club final is scheduled for next Saturday.

Mourneabbey put in a request to the Munster Ladies Gaelic Football Association (MLGFA) last month to push back the date of the provincial decider given the All-Ireland club semis are not down for decision for another five-weeks, Saturday, November 21, but this was turned down.

Approaches have been made to Waterford champions and Munster finalists Ballymacarby in the last 48-hours to agree to a postponement of Saturday’s fixture.

Ballymacarby manager Mike Guiry said they are unable to oblige as they have players unavailable through work commitments.

“Our players looked at the calendar at the start of the year and saw that these two weekends (October 24 and 31) were free. Two of our players are away through work commitments. We would accommodate if we could, but there are girls away.”

Mourneabbey manager Dominic Gallagher, speaking after last Saturday’s draw, described the three-day turnaround as “mad”.

“It just isn’t right,” he remarked.

Munster PRO Michael Ryan has laid the blame at the doorstep of the Cork County Board.

“They are entirely responsible for this situation. This fixture was earmarked for this weekend for the past two months. It would have been easily avoided had they played their county final the week after they won the All-Ireland or if they had played extra-time last Saturday. It is black and white really.”

Cork chairperson Neilus Carroll insisted that extra-time wasn’t feasible at the CIT grounds as it is not catered for in the rulebook.

“It is in the rulebook that a county final, should it finish in a draw, goes to a replay.

“If the replay finishes level, then there is extra-time.”


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