Linda Mellerick: As the GAA, camogie and LGFA look to join up, pitch space and dual clashes remain issues 

'There just aren’t enough pitches in any county to cope with the demand at underage or adult level...'
Linda Mellerick: As the GAA, camogie and LGFA look to join up, pitch space and dual clashes remain issues 

Galway’s Emma Helebert and Cork’s Laura Hayes at the launch of the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League finals at Croke Park. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

IT'S disappointing that a week after the Camogie Congress took place there is still nothing on their website to advise us little people what motions were raised, passed, or defeated.

One motion we do know was included is the continued work towards the integration of the Camogie Association, the GAA and LGFA. It was passed overwhelmingly, backed by 97% of the delegates on Saturday in the Rochestown Park Hotel. 

This means the three bodies have separately given formal support towards forming one single governing body in Gaelic games.

A motion to the same effect proposed by the Gaelic Players' Association received the support of 89.8% of delegates at February's annual GAA congress in Mayo. Similarly, 67 of the 75 delegates at the LGFA's Congress backed the amalgamation.

Amalgamation seems to be on the cards, but I think it’s going to be a slow process, with piecemeal integration over a number of years. That’s to be expected as three massive organisations try to become one. 

How the initial integrated systems work will determine the smooth or difficult transition of the larger process. 

From a player perspective, an all-inclusive fixture list leading to a division between the ladies’ football and camogie calendars is a key priority as is the availability of pitches and facilities. 

Despite the best of intentions on all parts, this is an area that is going to be difficult to manage. There just aren’t enough pitches in any county to cope with the demand. 

Cork teams in all codes struggle week in and week out for facilities. Those clubs with floodlights are pulling in the money and they could probably sell double the pitch time if they had it and their pitches held up. 

But the will is there from all the members of all three organisations so let’s see where the journey takes us.

On the back of their eight All-Stars and Sarsfields’ recent All-Ireland senior club title win Galway will be full of confidence ahead of their division 1 league final tonight against Cork.

MISSED OPPORTUNITY

What a shame it’s not a doubleheader after Cork’s Division 2 side were defeated by Antrim by two points last weekend. Trailing by 12 points at half time, 2-10 to 0-4 the gap was too much of an ask for them to come back from despite battling brilliantly, only losing by two in the end. 

Antrim were awarded a very dubious free which they converted after Cork had narrowed the gap. It gave the 2021 All-Ireland intermediate champions a four-point cushion again heading down the stretch. 

Cork brought it back to two and with their last attack of the day should have gone for goal, with two players free on the edge of the square, but the point was taken and with it their league aspirations were gone. 

You can’t leave a player rack up 2-7 in 30 minutes and not do something desperate to stop it. Aishling Moloney dropped back a little, but it needed more. I felt sorry for Kelly Falvey, who is a good full-back. 

She looked exposed but Róisín McCormick would have done the same to any of the defenders she stood beside. 

It was flagged. She had a storming game in last September's All-Ireland final. She needed to be double-marked, particularly at this level. She would be a starter in any Division 1 side. 

It’s a pity as a day in Croke Park for these players would have been worth its weight in gold. 

But they need to put it behind them now, learn from the game, where they looked at sixes and sevens in the opening period, and drive on for the championship.

Both Cork and Galway boast an unbeaten run heading into tonight’s final. Throw-in is at 7pm with the game live on RTÉ.

In the Division 2 final, also live on RTÉ, Antrim will take on Wexford in the curtain-raiser.  Wexford comfortably topped Group 1 with four wins from four, while Antrim finished top of their group with three wins from three.

On Sunday, the Division 3 and 4 finals take place in Kinnegad GAA. 

In the Division 3 final, Cavan play Wexford. Both counties are unbeaten in this year’s league campaign, with three wins from three. In the Division 4 final Wicklow will take on Mayo after both teams progressed through the campaign to secure qualification. 

Mayo secured a 100%-win record, while Wicklow fell to defeat against this weekend’s opponents in the earlier rounds of the campaign.

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