Most important factor is Cork are in All-Ireland final

Most important factor is Cork are in All-Ireland final

Cork manager Ephie Fitzgerald during the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Championship semi-final between Cork and Galway at Croke Park. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

AT the end of an interesting week the most important factor is that Cork are through to the TG4 All-Ireland ladies football final.

The game was originally scheduled for the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick, but after they qualified for the All-Ireland hurling final they withdrew the pitch as they wanted to train on Sunday.

Then the game was scheduled for 1.30pm at Parnell Park but hours before it was due to start it had to be switched as the pitch was frozen and the game went ahead at Croke Park.

The frozen pitch was beyond the control of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) but one has to wonder why the game was switched to Dublin in the first place, something that neither camp was happy about.

There were a number of other venues it could be held at that would have suited and would have been acceptable to both sides.

Then add in the late change of venue, which didn't help preparations for either side, with Galway on the road to Dublin and Cork already in the capital and preparing to head to Parnell Park.

Afterward the LGFA issued a statement to clarify the matter.

It reads: “Ladies Gaelic Football Association wishes to clarify matters arising from today’s TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Senior Football Championship semi-final between Cork and Galway.

“A morning pitch inspection deemed the original venue, Parnell Park, unplayable, due to severe frost.

“The decision to move the game from Parnell Park, therefore, was made in the interests of player safety.

“A request to accommodate the fixture at Croke Park was made to the GAA at 10.20am, and the LGFA was informed at 11am that the game could be played there.

“The Galway team, in Kinnegad at the time, received first notification at 10,53am that there was an issue with Parnell Park.

“We were acutely aware that Galway were travelling at the time, and they were informed that the LGFA had contacted Croke Park in relation to a potential venue and time change.

“Galway were informed, once confirmation was forthcoming from Croke Park, at 11am, that they should proceed to the venue, for a 1pm throw-in.

“The 1pm throw-in time was scheduled due to the fact that a result on the day was required, with extra-time and 30m kicks a possibility.

“Cork, who were based in Dublin overnight, were also contacted at this stage and made aware of the new arrangements.

“While recognising that a change of venue and time was not ideal, the alternative was to postpone the game. The health and safety of our players was to the forefront in the LGFA’s decision to proceed at Croke Park.

“We wish to thank the GAA most sincerely for making Croke Park available to the LGFA at short notice.

“The game got underway at 1.10pm, to afford both teams an extra ten minutes to prepare.

“The LGFA regrets that the game was not available to viewers, despite concerted efforts to secure live coverage.

“We congratulate Cork on qualifying for the final against Dublin at Croke Park on December 20, and offer our commiserations to Galway.”

TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Senior Football Championship Semi-Final, Parnell Park, Co. Dublin 6/12/2020
TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Senior Football Championship Semi-Final, Parnell Park, Co. Dublin 6/12/2020

Far from ideal but the most important factor, from a Cork viewpoint is that they won by 2-17 to 0-13 and will now face Dublin in the decider on December 20 at Croke Park, with a 3.30pm throw-in.

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