Ryan Byrne/INPHO Golden-Kilfeacle's Josh Keane is one of the players affected.

4 Tipp clubs thrown out of local hurling championship for not playing without county footballers

It seems that some Tipperary senior football squad members are paying a heavy price for their team’s march to an All-Ireland semi-final.

FOUR CLUBS FROM West Tipperary have been thrown out of their divisional intermediate hurling championship – for refusing to play without players involved in the county’s senior football panel.

One club representative remarked that the “euphoria” surrounding Tipp’s historic All-Ireland SFC quarter-final victory over Galway has been well and truly dampened by these controversial developments.

As a group, the county players involved met and resolved that they would not line out in club fixtures last weekend, in order to give themselves the best possible chance of being ready for Tipp’s date with Mayo on August 21, while also minimising the risk of potential injury.

But local fixtures-makers took a dim view of their stance and expelled Rockwell Rovers, Golden-Kilfeacle, Arravale Rovers and Lattin-Cullen Gaels from the West IHC, while also handing down fines and insisting that any reasonable vouched expenses incurred by the opposition be covered.

Admittedly, the games in question fell outside of the 13-day rule that can invoked by county team managers in relation to the use of their players.

But club officials insist that some leeway should have been afforded to them, given the fact that Tipp’s senior footballers are preparing for a first All-Ireland semi-final in 81 years.

Rockwell Rovers have Alan Moloney on the Tipp panel, while Golden-Kilfeacle are represented by starting player Josh Keane and Shane O’Connell.

Alan Moloney celebrate Ryan Byrne / INPHO Alan Moloney of Rockwell Rovers. Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

Aherlow’s Mark Hanley, whose club is amalgamated with Lattin-Cullen, has been seeing game time off the bench for Tipp while Ciarán McDonald is also clubmate of Hanley’s, although more of a footballer at club level.

And the Arravale Rovers trio of Shane Leahy, Donough Leahy and Niall O’Donovan were subs for the victory over Galway at Croke Park.

The weekend games fixed saw Lattin Cullen Gaels pitted against Galtee Rovers, Rockwell Rovers were due to face Cashel King Cormacs, Golden-Kilfeacle were handed a tie with Cappawhite and Arravale Rovers were down to play Sean Treacys.

But without playing the quarter-finals, the semi-final pairings have been confirmed for August 20, a day before the football semi-final at Croke Park with Galtee Rovers against Cappawhite and Cashel against Sean Treacys listed as a double-bill in the West.

The four clubs expelled are up in arms and it’s also understood that the situation affects Moyle Rovers in the South and north outfit Shannon Rovers.

Moyle Rovers have captain Peter Acheson, full-back Alan Campbell, sub-goalkeeper Ciarán Kenrick and back-up midfielder Martin Dunne on the county senior football panel, while Shannon Rovers are represented by midfielder George Hannigan.

Peter Acheson celebrates Ryan Byrne / INPHO Tipperary captain Peter Acheson. Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

And the clubs involved fear that the hard-hitting measures imposed by the divisional boards will only heighten the tensions between the hurling and football fraternities in the Premier County.

After the players met as a group, their collective decision not to line out at club level was backed by the respective clubs, who informed the divisions that they would not be fulfilling fixtures without them.

Margaret Russell, secretary of Lattin-Cullen Gaels, explained: “It was a postponement that we wanted. The euphoria of last Sunday wasn’t long about going down.”

Interestingly, former Waterford selector Pat Bennett, who remains involved in the current Déise backroom staff, is guiding the fortunes of Lattin Cullen Gaels.

Father of current Waterford stars Stephen and Shane, Bennett admitted that the impasse has left him “very cross.”

He said: “I’m very cross, for the simple reason that it was putting the player (Hanley) in an awful situation. His head was all over the place.

Waterford Selector Pat Bennett Lorraine O'Sullivan / INPHO Former Waterford selector Pat Bennett is managing the Lattin-Cullen Gaels intermediate hurlers in West Tipperary. Lorraine O'Sullivan / INPHO / INPHO

“Would this happen to the (Tipperary) senior hurlers? Would it happen to Seamie Callanan and these guys? We want to give it the best shot we can give it but in Waterford, we would never be asked to play a championship game without our county players.

“Our own club, Ballysaggart, are into a junior B football semi-final after fielding a team for the first time in 20 years but we had a game postponed three times because we wouldn’t play without Shane and Stephen.”

The42 is on Snapchat! Tap the button below on your phone to add!

Shanahan backs Waterford after criticism in county by ‘so called greats’

Thurles triple-header confirmed with camogie semi-finals now before Kilkenny-Waterford replay

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.