It never rains but in pours. Last weekend’s somewhat restricted local GAA fixture list led to further headaches for those charged with finalising the various county championships, and especially those matches required to enable Waterford to be represented in at least some of the Munster Club series.
In the Western Division stalemate prevailed in the Intermediate Hurling Final between Rinn Ó gCuanach and Brickey Rangers, with the replay pencilled in for Fraher Field this Saturday (2pm). The net result here means that the County Intermediate Hurling Final in which Eastern champions St Mollerans await the western winners has been postponed a further week to Sunday, November 9th. It’s hoped that decider may still go ahead as a curtain-raiser to the County Senior Hurling Final between De La Salle and either Ballyduff Upper or Abbeyside who also couldn’t be separated at Fraher Field last Sunday.
This backlog means that the Senior Football Championship Final is further away than ever, and unless everything goes according to plan in the coming weeks, it’s possible, if not “likely” that the destination of the Conway Cup may spill over into 2009. Sure there’s no rush anyway now that they’ve had to kiss goodbye to the Munster club championship, launched by none other than Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh.
The reasons for the mess are clear: the county’s hurlers came first, everything else a distant second. The rights and wrongs of that are well rehearsed but clubs are paying the price year in, year out, with no apparent improvement in the ordinary player’s lot. The County Board is also suffering a marked fall-off in revenue with crowds for the local championships way down. The message is clear: grassroots GAA people, players, mentors and the paying public alike, want matches in spring, summer and autumn. Of all the consequences, the monetary one may well cause the penny to drop with Waterford’s decision-makers at last.