GLEN Rovers are restricting access to the club after their Premier Senior Hurling final with Blackrock this Sunday in a bid to stay safe as the cases of Covid-19 continue to rise in Cork.
The Glen meet the Rockies in a classic county final pairing at 4pm in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in an eagerly-awaited clash that will be televised by TG4.
Already this week the GAA notified county boards and clubs warning them to take appropriate steps to ensure social-distancing among supporters at finals and during post-match celebrations. There were fears Cork would go to Level 3 status in the battle against Covid-19 which would have seen all bar elite matches and top-level club GAA postponed, but for now, sport can continue, albeit with restrictions on the attendance.
On Thursday, Glanmire GAA club came in for heavy criticism on social media after posting footage on Twitter of fans in the stand at Páirc Uí Rinn after James Crowley converted the winning free in the minor football decider against Douglas.
The Glen will be issuing tickets for their event on the club premises in advance of Sunday, so regardless of the result only the team, family members and club volunteers will be able to attend. The Blackpool side and their southside rivals have just 50 tickets per club to distribute for the game itself.
Richie Kelleher's charges are favourites on the basis of reaching last year's final where they lost to Imokilly, and wins in 2015 and '16. Blackrock were champions three times from 1999 to 2003 when current manager Fergal Ryan was a star defender. They were beaten by Imokilly in their last final appearance in '17.
After a coin toss, the Glen will wear their black alternative jersey, with the Rockies in their familiar yellow and green hoops.
The full statement issued to club members read:
"We look forward to our County Final game against our old friends The Rockies this coming Sunday.
"We have been watching the unfolding situation regarding the increasing prevalence of Covid-19 in the Cork area over the past week and have been planning activities for Sunday with this in mind.
"The safety of our members, supporters and the community, in general, is of paramount importance to Glen Rovers, and so it is with this in mind we are announcing the following for Sunday, regardless of whether Richie, Brian and the team win or lose.
"Our club is a large one, and it comprises many parts, teams, functions, clubs and societies. It is this mix that makes Glen Rovers unique and it is something that we must strive to preserve.
"Therefore, on Sunday the after-match function will be a ticket-only event and will be exclusively for the team, members, volunteers and family members only. All prevailing Covid-19 regulations around social distancing will be complied with.
"Details about how the day will be managed both before and after the game and the process for collecting a ticket will be issued directly to members shortly.
"Naturally, while every effort is being made to accommodate as many of our loyal supporters as possible, it is likely that we will not have sufficient space under current restrictions to have what would be considered a normal Glen county final event.
"This is something that the management of Glen Rovers regret deeply and ask for the understanding and patience of everyone concerned in what is a testing and unusual time for our community and for our country.
"We look forward to our team doing us proud on Sunday and with a bit of luck they will bring back the cup and shorten the winter ahead for us.
"Up The Glen..."