Cork dual stars squeezed yet again by camogie and ladies football fixtures

Less than 24 hours between the Rebels games at the weekend meant Meabh Cahalane and Libby Coppinger couldn't tog out for the footballers
Cork dual stars squeezed yet again by camogie and ladies football fixtures

Cork's captain Maire O'Callaghan clears from Waterford's Kellyann Hogan and Hannah Power during the Munster semi-final at Fraher Field, Dungarvan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

A good weekend to be a Cork GAA supporter with three big wins between the hurlers, camogie and ladies footballers.

If it’s drama you wanted then Páirc Uí Rinn was the place to be on Saturday evening as the Cork camogie side were crowned Munster champions, taking a second period of extra-time before they crossed the line.

Maybe the grit, determination, and skill they showed was something that inspired the hurlers and ladies footballers on Sunday, with both having good wins over Waterford.

The pity here was that the games clashed with each other, both at 2pm, but there is a reason for the clash. Originally the ladies' game was fixed for the week before but was then changed to facilitate the camogie side who were due to play the Munster camogie final that weekend.

Cork's Emma Murphy and Clare's Susan Daly tussle for possession during the Munster final at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cork's Emma Murphy and Clare's Susan Daly tussle for possession during the Munster final at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The ladies football was then fixed for Sunday at 2pm before the time for the men’s game was known and it couldn’t be changed again.

Unfortunately, a draw in the Clare semi-final meant the camogie final was pushed back, which meant the ladies football game could have gone ahead on the original date.

But the question has to be asked was why was the camogie game fixed for so late on Saturday evening? They would have been well aware of the Cork ladies football game having being switched to suit the original date of their final.

That gave dual stars Meabh Cahalane and Libby Coppinger less than 24 hours between the two games if they opted to play in both. To the credit of the two players they wanted to line out for the footballers as well as the camogie side and were named on both starting teams.

However, the circumstances of Cork’s heart-in-the-mouths win on Saturday night, where they played 90 minutes of tough and energy-sapping camogie meant there was no way they could line out on Sunday.

Of course, they were right to play the Munster final and have no doubt they will be there for the ladies football final on May 28, but again the question has to be asked – why fix the game for so late on Saturday?

Add into that the fact they not alone played extra-time in the final, but on top had to play a second period of extra-time then before Cork won. Of course, you can say there had to be a winner on the day, but in the Clare semi-final there was no extra time played and it went to a replay.

So should extra time have been allowed for in that game and all this pressure on dual players would have been avoided?

The answer is yes and there the hassle would have ended. But that didn’t happen and we ended up with the scenario of Meabh and Libby not lining out on Sunday.

Cork management isn't to blame for this, but those who set out the days and times of fixtures.

Thankfully, like the hurlers, the ladies footballers put in a gutsy performance to ensure they reached their Munster final, and hopefully, a little bit more communication will see issues like this in the past where they belong.


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