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Monaghan board left us with no choice - McHugh

Meanwhile, Mattie Lennon has claimed the board have failed to apply common sense.

Monaghan hurlers have enjoyed an impressive run of late.
Monaghan hurlers have enjoyed an impressive run of late.

MONAGHAN PLAYER MICKEY McHugh has backed his teammates’ recent decision to boycott the NHL final, explaining that the county board’s actions left them with no choice.

Manager Mattie Lennon has already resigned over the board’s refusal to postpone dual players’ club games that clash with the final.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Drivetime, McHugh said:

“There is a round of intermediate league football fixtures involving seven clubs who would have players on the county hurling team. They were fixed for next Wednesday. We’ve trained every Wednesday night since last January.

“We were going to be getting ready for a league final. We felt it unfair to ask the players to choose between club and county. It basically meant that we would have had up to 10 or 12 players not being able to attend training. Four of the clubs felt they could continue on and play the matches without their footballers.

“Three clubs felt they weren’t in a position to do that. They would need the fixtures changed. So the hurlers requested that the three football fixtures out of the seven would be switched.”

“The county board blatantly refused to do it and as a result the hurlers have withdrawn their services from the county hurling team.”

And speaking on RTÉ’s Sport at Seven, the ex-Monaghan manager Lennon added:

“I assumed that because Monaghan were in the final that [the fixtures] would have been rescheduled.

“They sent me a list of rules and regulations. The only rule that they didn’t apply was common sense.”

He continued:

“I made my decision on Friday that I would resign. The players were extremely disappointed and extremely annoyed that it had come to that.

“This doesn’t promote hurling in the weaker counties, it does the opposite.”

And asked if he would be willing to come back should the situation be resolved, Lennon said he would “have to have a think about it”  and “can’t answer that now”.

Read: Crocked: Michael Murphy has no idea when he’ll be able to play again>

Read: Men Down: Injury list grows ahead of Cork semi-final>

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Paul Fennessy

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