Galway hurling final could be delayed until just four weeks before ChristmasNovember 2, 2012 - 8:00am
THE Galway senior hurling championship final is provisionally scheduled to go ahead on Sunday, November 18, GAA officials confirmed yesterday, despite speculation that a postponement application is to be lodged to delay it by another week.
Hurling Board officials met with clubs and agreed that the sport’s local showpiece would be played two weeks after the outcome of the semi-finals, which would be November 18, provided the semi-final replay this weekend between Gort and St. Thomas’ doesn’t end in stalemate again after extra time.
In the unlikely event that the South Galway derby ends up deadlocked again, then the second replay will take place the following weekend with the county final pushed back to November 25.
There was widespread speculation in GAA circles this week, however, that the decider could be pushed back to November 25 anyway, just four weeks before Christmas Day to facilitate finalists Loughrea.
Loughrea, who will appear in their sixth final in ten years, could be set to lodge a postponement application with the Hurling Board because their long-serving full-forward Johnny Maher is due to get married on November 16, the Friday before the final has been pencilled in for Pearse Stadium.
According to the Hurling Board, Loughrea hasn’t yet made any official application about postponing the final, but officials from the club have sought a meeting, which is expected to take place later this week.
“We will meet with them, of course we will meet with them, they are a very important club and we’ve had a very good relationship with them over the years,” said Hurling Board Chairman, Joe Byrne.
“But what is scheduled is that the county final will go-ahead two weeks after the semi-finals are concluded to allow the teams two weeks to prepare. That was agreed at a Hurling Board meeting last week. It was agreed that provided there is an outcome this Sunday (in the semi-final between Gort and St Thomas’), the final will take place two weeks’ later, which is November 18.
“If the replay is a draw, and is still a draw after extra time then it will be replayed again and the final will take place two weeks after the outcome of the second replay, which would be November 25. But as of now, the county final is two weeks after there is an outcome in the semi-final and that’s November 18,” he said.
Byrne would not be drawn on what would happen if Loughrea does lodge a postponement application.
Meanwhile, another potential scheduling headache for GAA officials was averted because of the drawn game between Gort and St Thomas’.
Had one or other of them won, the county final would have taken place on November 11, the same day Salthill/Knocknacarra are due to meet St Brigid’s in the Connacht club football championship semi-final.
Both matches would have been scheduled to go ahead in Pearse Stadium, but last weekend’s 0-9 apiece stalemate means Salthill now have city ground to themselves when they take on the reigning title holders from Roscommon.