Players considering withdrawing from Carlow panel due to club hurling fall-out

The Carlow CCC informed St Mullins yesterday that they had been awarded the win.

The Carlow team after their game against Kilkenny in the Leinster SHC back in May.
The Carlow team after their game against Kilkenny in the Leinster SHC back in May.
Image: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Updated Sep 30th 2019, 3:07 PM

THE CARLOW HURLING squad could be affected next season as the fall-out from yesterday’s postponed senior club hurling semi-final continues. 

On Sunday morning, Carlow GAA announced that the senior hurling last-four clash between St Mullins and Ballinkillen – scheduled for 3.30pm at Netwatch Cullen Park – had been postponed. 

Ballinkillen decided not to fulfill the fixture and earlier in the week had requested for it to be rescheduled on player welfare grounds as they had five players involved with Kildavin/Clonegal in an intermediate football semi-final at 6pm on Saturday evening. 

The42 has seen an email correspondence sent from the Carlow county board to the St Mullins club yesterday informing them that the CCC made the decision to award them a walkover.

It’s understood Ballinkillen’s county players are considering withdrawing from next season’s Carlow hurling panel if the situation isn’t resolved.

When contacted by The42, Carlow operations manager Ronan Dempsey said the CCC are due to have a meeting on the matter and “will release a statement in due course.”

Ballinkillen released their own statement on Sunday evening explaining their reasons for not fulfilling the fixture. 

“Last Sunday, the club learned via social media that the intermediate football semi-final between Kildavin and Naomh Eoin had been scheduled for the preceding Saturday evening, September 28, at 6pm,” it began.

“On confirming this report, we immediately contacted the county board with request that either of these fixtures be re-scheduled. There are five Ballinkillen hurlers involved with the Kildavin panel and the club took the view that to ask players to play two important matches within 18 hours of one another was unjust, against player welfare and against the player development pathway.

“Given the fact that only five weekends had been set aside all year as hurling weeks it is unprecedented that a senior hurling semi-final would be disrupted in this way.

It continued: “It is one thing for a football fixture to encroach on a Monday or Tuesday of a hurling week, but for a match involving senior and intermediate hurlers to be re-fixed the evening before a senior semi-final is unacceptable.

“This weekend should have been a special occasion for our club. Ballinkillen has not reached a senior semi-final for several years, and a huge amount of voluntary work has been put in at juvenile level and with this group of players in order to make progress.

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“It is deeply disappointing to us that team preparations have been disrupted all week, culminating in this morning’s announcement that the senior semi-final has been postponed.

“We have communicated to the county board all week, up to and including late last night, attempting to find a resolution. Alternative dates were proposed that would allow both fixtures go ahead without compromising player welfare.

“Unfortunately, none of these suggestions have been taken on board. We have therefore informed the county board that we cannot fulfill today’s fixture and have again requested the fixture to be rescheduled.

“We take this decision in the interests of player welfare and for the greater good of Carlow hurling and appeal to the better judgment of the county board.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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