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'There are two Meath teams playing All-Ireland finals in Meath on Sunday. It's pretty ridiculous'

The Four Roads club in Roscommon have hit out at the Camogie Association’s decision to fix their All-Ireland club junior final against Meath’s Kilmessan in Navan.

A general view of Páirc Tailteann Pairc Tailteann in Navan will host a double-header on Sunday. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

THE FOUR ROADS club in Roscommon have criticised the Camogie Association’s “crazy” and “unfair” decision to fix Sunday’s All-Ireland club junior final against Meath’s Kilmessan for Pairc Tailteann in Navan.

It will be effectively a home game for reigning All-Ireland junior champions Kilmessan, who are based just 13km away from Navan while Four Roads must travel 128km to reach the venue. 

1 Source: Google Maps

2 Source: Google Maps

The All-Ireland junior final is part of a double-header at Pairc Tailteann, with the All-Ireland junior B final also featuring a side from the Royal County, Ratoath, who face Monaghan’s Clontibret. 

“It’s frustrating and disappointing,” a Four Roads official told The42.

“It’s been a long year and we’ve worked really hard to get to an All-Ireland final. We’ve already done a huge amount of travelling in the course of this.

“In the All-Ireland quarter-final we actually travelled to London to play Tara London in Ruislip and won that match. That’s a huge level of travelling and a huge expense for a really small, rural parish to take on.

“It was a trip that cost a significant amount of money – probably equal to what our club would probably take to run in a year.”

The club raised the issue with Croke Park, but were informed by the Camogie Association that “they couldn’t get a venue that could hold two matches on the same day.”

“All they’re saying is the looked for lots of venues and that they were looking for a venue that was equidistant or whatever way you want to say it,” the club official added.

Four Roads face Kilmessan in the All-Ireland camogie club junior final on Sunday. Four Roads face Kilmessan in the All-Ireland camogie club junior final on Sunday. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“The junior B final is a predecessor to our match, ironically that also has a Meath team in it, so there are actually two Meath teams playing All-Ireland finals in Meath on Sunday. It’s pretty ridiculous.” 

At this stage Four Roads have accepted the game will go ahead in Navan, but they wish to “highlight the injustice” to the Camogie Association “that this is not okay to do and it’s not okay to do going forward.”

“We can’t afford to have that in our heads. The game will be in Navan. We’re really focusing on getting to the match, getting our supporters there, doing the best we can and hopefully we’ll bring a great crowd.

“We have brilliant supporters, they’ll travel. We had supporters travel to London with us. We’ll have supporters there regardless of where it is but we’re really just trying to highlight these decisions that are made. We feel there’s a little bit of injustice in it.”

Last year’s drawn junior final between Kilmessan and Kerry’s Clanmaurice was played in Laois’s Crettyard while the replay took place at Dolla in Tipperary.

When contacted for comment, a spokesperson from the Camogie Assocation said: “For any All-Ireland finals the Camogie Association strives to secure venues which are of a standard that reflects the level and stage of competition being played.

“For these fixtures we were in contact with numerous grounds trying to secure such a venue, ideally in a central location. Due to the unavailability of several venues it was decided to select Páirc Tailteann in Navan for these fixtures as the venue meets all of the required criteria given its status as a county ground.

“Out of respect for all clubs involved, management and players, we as an organisation endeavour to have fixtures confirmed one week out in order for all involved, to plan and organise as required.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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