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Dublin: 2 °C Monday 16 December, 2019
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Tipp home advantage in Semple Stadium ‘an insult’, says Dublin chairman

Dublin will travel to Thurles to play Tipperary in their Round 2 qualifier on Saturday.

Sean Shanley said the Dublin county board will try to move the fixture away from Thurles.
Sean Shanley said the Dublin county board will try to move the fixture away from Thurles.
Image: Tom Beary/INPHO

THE CHAIRMAN OF Dublin GAA has branded the decision to host Saturday’s hurling championship qualifier against Tipperary in Semple Stadium as “an insult” and “totally unfair.”

Sean Shanley said the move gave their opponents an unfair home advantage, but maintained that the Dublin county board would attempt to move the fixture away from Thurles when they met with the CCCC later this week.

“We were told it would be a neutral venue”, Shanley said speaking to The Herald.

“The last word we got was that it was going to be a double header. Limerick would be the obvious venue for that. And then they come back and say it’s a double header in Thurles.

Ger Cunningham "I was talking to Ger Cunningham and he thinks it's totally ridiculous", said Shanley. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“It’s supposed to be neutral venues for everyone and yet they give Tipperary home advantage.”

The CCCC set both qualifiers, Tipperary vs Dublin and Kilkenny vs Waterford, for Semple Stadium on 8 July as a double header, with this being the third consecutive year this stage of the competition has been held at the venue.

“We’re certainly going to air our objections to it now”, Shanley added. “We have a county committee tonight and we’re going to make it know that we’re not happy at all.

“[It’s] totally unfair — we’re the only ones suffering. There’s no way Kilkenny would have played Tipp in Thurles. Certainly not. I was talking to Ger Cunningham and he thinks it’s totally ridiculous.”

Eoghan O'Donnell and Jack Kelly Dublin beat Laois on Saturday in Parnell Park in Round 1 of the qualifiers. Source: Tom Beary/INPHO

Dublin were defeated 2-28 to 1-17 by Galway in the Leinster championship quarter-finals in Tullamore at the end of May, before beating Laois in Round 1 of the qualifiers 2-28 to 1-15 on Saturday in Parnell Park

Tipperary, meanwhile, endured one of the championship’s major upsets when the reigning All-Ireland champions were defeated 1-26 to 2-27 by Cork in Thurles six weeks ago.

They beat Westmeath 2-18 to 0-15 where manager Michael Ryan made six changes, noting afterwards that more changes could follow against Dublin this weekend.

“Those performances were below-par, the lads would be the first to admit that you have to hit your own levels and get yourself on the ball. If it’s off, it’s off”, he said after his side’s nine point win.

“There’s still positions up for grabs on this team and we’re absolutely encouraging the competition.”

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