Leinster GAA have moved to switch the football and hurling club finals next Sunday to alleviate the difficulty of Kilmacud Crokes dual player, Brian Sheehy. Originally the double bill at Croke Park was to start with the football final between Crokes and Westmeath champions, The Downs.
That was to be followed by the hurling decider, featuring the Dublin club for the first time, which is against champions Ballyhale Shamrocks. The matches were to throw in at 2.30 and 4.30, respectively.
Given that Sheehy is a starter with the hurlers and a replacement on the football team, it made more sense for the hurling to go first and allow him maximum rest before making any appearance in the second match.
Although Kilmacud had not registered any objection to the double bill, the club maintains that they could hardly do so without being presumptuous. In the aftermath of last Sunday’s semi-final, hurling manager Kieran Dowling raised the plight of Sheehy.
“I think it’s a conversation for the club to have with the Leinster Council,” he said. “I’ll leave it to the chairman. Look, all I want is Brian to be able to perform at his best; that’s all. I don’t think that’s unfair. If it was Loughmore-Castleiney [last year’s Tipperary dual champions] or a Cork team, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
After consultation between all of the parties, it was agreed that the fixtures be re-ordered, allowing Sheehy play the hurling match before taking his place on the football bench.