Sport

Moy manager Gavin McGilly is left frustrated by Portlaoise postponement

Leinster GAA secretary Michael Reynolds inspects the O’Moore Park pitch in Portlaoise before calling off yesterday’s double-header which was to feature the Bord na Mona O’Byrne Cup final between Westmeath and Meath and the AIB Ulster Club IFC semi-final between Moy and An Ghaeltacht Picture by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
By Francis Mooney

MOY'S joint manager Gavin McGilly says the GAA needs to review the scheduling of games at this time of year, after yesterday’s All-Ireland Club IFC semi-final against An Ghaeltacht of Kerry was called off at short notice due to a waterlogged O’Moore Park pitch.

And Sean Cavanagh questioned whether the game, due to have been played as a double-header with the O’Byrne Cup final between Meath and Westmeath, could have been staged at Croke Park.

The Moy players were on their way to the venue when they were informed that the match had fallen foul of the weather.

Many of the Tyrone champions’ supporters had travelled on Saturday and stayed in hotels in the Portlaoise area.

“It seems to be happening on a regular basis. The McKenna Cup was affected this year as well, with late decisions made, with supporters on their way to games,” said McGilly.

“Maybe we need to take a look at the timing of competitions, particularly in January.”

And former Tyrone star Cavanagh tweeted: “Turning back heading home. Families all down yesterday. Tough on entire club. Could Croke Park have been used?”

McGilly felt the decision on the pitch could have been made on Saturday, as it was already in poor condition due to heavy rain.

“The call could have been made a bit sooner, maybe last night (Saturday). People were posting images of the condition of the pitch on social media, and I don’t think the water was going to subside within that time-frame.

“They must have tried to wait as long as they could to make the call, but then you’ve got to factor in the arrangements of both clubs and the itinerary, schedules and planning that have to be put in place.

“People have travelled early and stayed over, some have flown home from England, and it scuppers their plans. So it’s disappointing from the supporters’ point of view, they were all looking forward to it. But we’ll just have to deal with it.”

McGilly was also disappointed that no alternative arrangements for the fixture have yet been made, causing difficulties in planning for both teams.

“We’re in the dark as to where and when the game will be played. Obviously the boys all have work schedules, and we need to give them an idea of what the plan is over the next week or two weeks, or whenever the game is set for.

“But we’re still where we were at the start of the day, we’re still in an All-Ireland semi-final, but we have no idea when it’s going to be played.

“We still have an opportunity to go and take a place in the All-Ireland final, and that will remain our focus.”

McGilly also felt Croke Park could have been considered as an alternative venue, but accepted that a switch to GAA Headquarters could have presented difficulties.

“I don’t think any of the teams would have objected to the game being played at Croke Park if it had been available.

“But it mustn’t have been available, because the powers that be want to get the fixtures played as well.

“It’s just one of those things we’ve got to contend with at this time of year, we’re at the mercy of the weather.”

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