Ryan Byrne/INPHO Jack Kennedy is facing two games in two days.
# breaking point
'Overkill, ridiculous and unacceptable' - Commercials angered in fresh fixtures furore
Two Commercials players scheduled to play a Munster club football semi-final on Sunday are hurling a day earlier.

CLONMEL COMMERCIALS ARE furious after a Tipperary county minor A hurling final involving two of their players was fixed for Saturday – a day before they face St Joseph’s Milltown-Malbay in the AIB Munster senior club football semi-final.

Jack Kennedy and Ross Peters, members of the Tipperary minor football team that reached this year’s All-Ireland final, are key hurlers for St Mary’s, who are scheduled to play Kildangan on Saturday.

Commercials have applied to the Tipperary county board CCC for a postponement of the hurling clash as Kennedy and Peters are vital to the Commercials cause.

A similar situation arose before the county senior football final when players from finalists Commercials and Moyle Rovers were scheduled to play minor A hurling fixtures on the previous day.

The Moyle Rovers game was postponed but the St Mary’s game went ahead and Kennedy was taken off early in the second half of the senior football showpiece after producing a below-par performance by his standards.

Ross Peters Cathal Noonan / INPHO Ross Peters is a key member of the Commercials panel. Cathal Noonan / INPHO / INPHO

Kennedy, son of former Tipperary All-Ireland SHC medallist John, is chasing four county titles in various grades at the present time – but Commercials boss Charlie McGeever believes that his attempts to create history are being hampered.

Kennedy could finish the season as county senior, U21 and minor football medallist, with the senior and U21 crowns already annexed.

He’s also chasing minor A hurling glory with St Mary but McGeever, Tipp’s minor football boss this year, has described the fixtures glut as “overkill, ridiculous and unacceptable.”

McGeever has attempted to manage Kennedy’s various commitments and decided to use him off the bench against Newcastle West in the recent Munster senior club football quarter-final.

Kennedy came on to play a key role as Commercials came from four points down to win by two in the closing minutes.

Charlie McGeever Ryan Byrne / INPHO Commercials boss Charlie McGeever is furious with the fixtures schedule. Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

McGeever said: “One has to beg the question about player welfare and number two, mentally how does this affect a player of his age where he’s being pulled and dragged and doesn’t know whether he’s playing on Saturday or Sunday or on both days?

“We’ve highlighted this to the county board already but they haven’t taken any heed.

“I would love to know the reasoning behind this. I don’t understand the rush to play this particular (hurling) match, the minor B competition is only at the semi-final stage.

“I have informed the club to look for a postponement,” McGeever confirmed.

“How often are Ross Peter and Jack Kennedy going to find themselves in a Munster semi-final, and have the opportunity to play in one?

“We, as a club, have aided the CCC all through the summer.

Jack Kennedy with Eoin O'Neill Donall Farmer / INPHO Jack Kennedy in action against Kildare in the All-Ireland minor football semi-final. Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

“We were caught in the middle of it with a run of matches with St Mary’s and Commercials having to play every week.

“We didn’t complain, we understood they needed to get a point and we didn’t want to finish up like Waterford and Kerry, in a situation where Tipp didn’t have a representative again in the Munster club.

“So we were happy to put up with that. We had half a dozen players playing twice a week in serious championship matches and we understood why that happened but we can’t understand the logic here.

“It’s up to others to decide whether I’m paranoid but anybody with any sense will see that this is overkill, ridiculous and unacceptable.”

Peters is a panellist on the Commercials team but would be in contention to come into the starting line-up around midfield in the case of an injury to the likes of Seamus Kennedy, Aldo Matassa or Kevin Harney, McGeever added.

The manager, meanwhile, has reported no fresh injury concerns ahead of the visit of St Joseph’s Milltown-Malbay to the Clonmel Sportsfield on Sunday, as Commercials seek to reach the provincial final for the first time since 1994.

He said: “It’s not a physical thing with us, it’s not about injuries or fitness, it’s around the mental approach to the game.

“We’d be disappointed with aspects of our performance against Newcastle West but we’ve been given a great opportunity with home advantage and we’ve got to make the most of it, and make the best effort of getting to a Munster final.”

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