Fitzmaurice gets final reprieve for Finuge
Kerry have been granted an advance scheduling of their McGrath Cup final, affording manager Eamon Fitzmaurice at least one last roll of the dice with his club, Finuge.
Originally set for Sunday, Kerry will now face Tipperary on Saturday (2.30pm) at Seán Treacy Park, Tipperary Town – freeing Fitzmaurice to line out for his club in Sunday’s All-Ireland junior semi-final against Monasterevan, already set for the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.
Fitzmaurice is adamant once Finuge’s interest in the club championship is finished, he’ll be concentrating solely on his role as Kerry manager: “Yeah still double-jobbing at the moment,” he said, “but it’s a good problem to have. In many ways the junior and intermediate championships are better structured than the seniors because their semi-finals are on at the end of January, their finals are in February, and over before the senior semi-finals are even played. But once Finuge finish I will be hanging up the boots.”
It means three of the four finals in the provincial football competitions will take place on Saturday: the Leinster Council have confirmed their O’Byrne Cup final between Dublin and Kildare will take place under floodlights in Parnell Park (7pm), while in Ulster, the Dr McKenna Cup final between Tyrone and Monaghan is also set for Saturday evening under lights at the Athletic Grounds (7.30pm).
The Leinster Council has also fixed the Walsh Cup quarter-final between Dublin and UCD for Parnell Park this Friday (7.30pm), where Dublin begin their competitive 2013 campaign looking to rediscover the form of 2011.
For captain Johnny McCaffrey, the news Ciarán Kilkenny will be concentrating on football, at least for now, was disappointing but understandable. “That was Ciarán’s decision but the lads we have on the panel now are 100 per cent behind the hurling and that’s what we want. A couple of things went wrong last year, maybe not working as hard as we did the year before, then a couple of results that didn’t go our way in league games. Everyone is really putting the head down this year.”