Leinster club hurling semi-final falls victim to bad weather
THE GAA club season’s hitherto co-operative weather took a turn for the worse yesterday but although schedules were disrupted, damage from the torrential rain was limited to Leinster hurling.
It was the sunny south-east that took the hit with a deluge in Wexford forcing the postponement of the provincial hurling semi-final between Kilkenny champions Ballyhale Shamrocks and their Wexford counterparts Oulart-The Ballagh.
There was considerable unhappiness amongst supporters that the match was called off less than half-an-hour before the scheduled throw-in but the pitch had been judged playable during the morning and the sudden arrival of heavy rain rendered the match impossible.
According to Leinster Council chief executive Michael Delaney play had been possible up until the final hour before throw-in. Referee Barry Kelly spoke to the team managers and for safety reasons, decided the match couldn’t go ahead at around 1.35pm.
“I was talking to Mick Kinsella (former Wexford county secretary) at 11,” said Delaney, “and the rain was only a drizzle and the pitch perfectly playable although the forecast was bad. We had another inspection at one o’clock and it was still felt possible the match could go ahead but with the rain persisting there was no real alternative but to call if off.
“The normal date for the re-fixture would be the following Sunday, the original date for the final with the final the following week, which is unfortunate because the football final will be on the same afternoon. We’ll be deciding that in the morning.”
The Leinster hurling championship had already been running slightly late because of the delay caused to the Kilkenny championship by September’s replayed All-Ireland final.
A decision will also be taken by in relation to the ticketing situation. “As far as I know,” according to Delaney, “a number of spectators were refunded at the ground and others gave their names and addresses with a view to getting tickets for next week.” Asked what were the realistic chances that this had covered everyone present, he said: “We’ll be reviewing that as well.”
Remaining senior club fixtures
Leinster SHC semi-final refixture (provisional)– Sunday December 2nd: Oulart-The Ballagh v Ballyhale Shamrocks, Wexford Park.
Leinster SHC final– December 9th: Oulart/Ballyhale v Kilcormac-Killoughey, Nowlan Park/Portlaoise.
Leinster SFC final re-fixture – December 9th: Ballymun Kickhams v Portlaoise, Mullingar.
Munster SFC final – December 2nd: Dr Crokes v Castlehaven, Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Ulster SFC final – December 2nd: Crossmaglen v Kilcoo, Athletic Grounds.