Hurling final replay under lights ‘hardly ideal’ for Cork
Saturday 5pm start doesn’t do anything for an All-Ireland final, says selector Ger Cunningham
Playing the All-Ireland hurling final replay under Croke Park lights ‘something new, something different; it’ll be a fantastic occasion’, says Ger Cunningham
Cork selector Ger Cunningham has described having to play the All-Ireland hurling final replay under lights as “not ideal”.
The match against Clare takes place on Saturday, September 28th, at 5pm, which hasn’t gone down well in Cork.
“Well from the point of view that it’s an All-Ireland final, I think Saturday, playing it at 5 o’clock, doesn’t do anything for an All-Ireland final,” he said.
“Five o’clock is certainly a time that’s questionable,” said Cunningham, a sponsors’ ambassador and manager with Bord Gáis, at a media conference before tomorrow’s’s Bord Gáis Energy GAA All-Ireland Under-21 hurling final.
“If you start it at four the chances are you would get it finished in daylight and also for the supporters travelling from Clare and Cork.
“It’s a long journey home and I think some Cork supporters had a journey of six hours last weekend. There was a crash on the motorway and they didn’t get home until all hours of the night, but a 5 o’clock start with a possibility of going to extra-time . . . it’s going to be late getting out of Croke Park.”
Although he described the decision to turn on the lights as “something new, something different; it’ll be a fantastic occasion”, he also said Cork hadn’t been consulted on the matter.
“No, no. It certainly didn’t come up in any of our conversations in the last couple of days.
“We just assumed that 5pm throw-in . . . if they didn’t start with the lights – I know you’d see some matches where the lights would come on at half-time – I wasn’t aware that there was going to be lights full-time, but it’s good to know.”
Asked would the team train under lights to prepare for the replay, he expressed concern that the floodlit match might not suit all of the Cork players.
“Yeah, yeah, it’s not ideal for some guys. Some guys wouldn’t be comfortable playing under lights. Some fellas have eyesight problems and find it difficult. I think ourselves and Clare wouldn’t have played in Croke Park under lights before, so it’s a bit different again.”
He was uncertain whether the team could secure some practice time under lights.
“We can’t get on the pitch for a photograph never mind get out for a training session, so I’d imagine that’s probably not a runner!” he said.
“It’s something that you would say, it’s probably not an unreasonable request to go and have a look at it and train there, but it’s the first I’ve heard of it now, so we’ll have to have a chat among ourselves to see if we go there.”
It was, however, confirmed later yesterday by Croke Park that letters had gone out to both counties offering them a run-out under lights at the stadium.