Linda Mellerick: Why are Cork dual players constantly caught up in fixture issues?

Ladies football and camogie teams are both in action today, which puts a squeeze on Meabh Cahalane and Libby Coppinger
Linda Mellerick: Why are Cork dual players constantly caught up in fixture issues?

Cork's Meabh Cahalane and Laura Treacy tackle Aoife Donohue of Galway. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

The definition of Groundhog day is ‘a situation in which a series of unwelcome or tedious events appear to be recurring in exactly the same way.’

It’s the term best used to describe the never-ending debacle involving the clash of games between the camogie and ladies football associations. The senior footballers play their Munster final today in Kerry at 12.15pm. Cork camogie play the second round of their All-Ireland championship in Páirc Uí Rinn at 6pm against Clare.

As it stands, at the time of writing, Libby Coppinger will travel with the footballers and Meabh Cahalane will line out against Clare.

I’m going to lay the blame for this at the feet of the LGFA because that’s where it belongs. 

There was an agreement that the camogie association would fix all their games for Saturdays and the LGFA for Sundays. Straightforward enough.

The Munster board of the LGFA then placed their Munster final for today as a curtain-raiser to the men’s Munster senior football final. No issue with that, but then you should make every effort to accommodate a solution if one is required and the LGFA have refused to do so, despite Cork and Clare offering to move to accommodate the players.

First, Cork and Clare agreed to switch their championship game to tomorrow, Sunday, but the LGFA said no as Clare and Down are playing in the intermediate championship, and they wouldn’t consider bringing that game forward to today. 

 Cork's Libby Coppinger gets away from Waterford's Caoimhe McGrath. Picture: David Keane.
Cork's Libby Coppinger gets away from Waterford's Caoimhe McGrath. Picture: David Keane.

So, both Cork and Clare looked at their schedule and said they were willing to cancel the camogie championship game altogether this weekend and move it to either the weekend of June 11 or 25 when they both have free weekends in their schedule and again that wasn’t facilitated as they have other games settled for that weekend.

So, despite the fact that it is the Munster branch of the LGFA that made the switch to Saturday here and the camogie counties involved did their utmost to rectify the situation, they were denied at every suggestion. I’ve said it before; there is arrogance at administration level within the LGFA.

NOT GOOD ENOUGH

Cork won their opening round against Wexford last Saturday in Bellefield. I have to say that some counties need to do much better when hosting these games. I arrived 40 minutes before the game, and I got the last programme. At that stage, there were very few spectators in the ground.

There were no teams announced before the game and no substitutes announced throughout, of which there were a total of eight. So not only were the majority of spectators without a programme to identify players, but they also had no idea who was coming on or off, unless they were extremely familiar with both panels.

That’s really not good enough.

The Cork intermediates travel the same road today to the same venue to play the hosts. With this being their opening fixture, why weren’t both games played as a double-header last Saturday? It just seems ridiculous.

Galway got the defence of their senior championship title off to a comfortable start as they cantered to a 4-11 to 1-7 victory over Limerick at Pearse Stadium.

Niamh Hanniffy sprinted clear to register Galway’s first goal in the 11thminute and Carrie Dolan finished brilliantly with a one-handed strike just before the interval to give the champions a 2-1 to 0-4 lead into the wind, Caoimhe Costelloe’s free-taking keeping Limerick in touch.

Limerick had no answer as Hanniffy went through the gears to complete a hat-trick of goals, while Ailish O’Reilly finished with four points. Costelloe’s goal from a free brought her tally to 1-5 for Limerick.

Injury-time points from Susan Daly and a Chloe Morey free secured a share of the spoils for Clare with Tipperary at the end of a competitive affair at The Ragg, 0-10 each. Clare had defeated Tipp after a replay in the Munster championship and so it was no surprise that this game went to the wire again.

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