GAA Fixtures Sec. Tom Maher warns of more chaos next year

News from the monthly meeting of the County Tipperary GAA Board.

News from the monthly meeting of the County Tipperary GAA Board.

Moyne Templetuohy clubman Tom Maher has issued the warning in his last two reports to Convention, but chickens are coming home to roost now, with Tipperary missing Munster deadlines for three competitions - intermediate hurling and footballer, and senior football.

Granted the All-Ireland senior hurling replay didn’t help, but even if these three weeks were still available, Tipperary would have struggled the make the Munster deadlines - now the county is left with egg on the face with no representatives in the three premier club competitions.

“Our structures are just crazy - off the wall. Clubs are asking us to work off a system which is simply unworkable and little did I know when I made my comments in the last two reports, that my own club would be one of the ones to lose out.

“We will have the same problem time and again in this county because the dates are simply not there to support the structures which have been adopted by the clubs. We haven’t a hope in hell of meeting our commitments in terms of Munster dates and we need not blame anyone else,” said Tom Maher and he challenged clubs to come back to the November meeting with proposals on how to better the situation.

Tom’s clubmate Michael Troy had pleaded with the Board officials to return to Munster Council to seek a resolution to the intermediate hurling problem. Moyne Templetuohy, as finalsists, would be representing Tipperary but the final was due to be played on the same day as the Munster Club game against Cappoquinn and Tipperary had conceded a walkover.

The matter had been raised at Munster Council level and it seemed that Cappoquinn were not anxious to move the date. However, they later had a change of heart and offered to play on the weekend of November 16th, but the Board and Council were not anxious to pursue the compromise.

“I don’t think that will be a runner as it is just too late,” said Chairman Sean Nugent.

Michael Troy pleaded with the Board to speak to Munster Council again and said that players will often only get one chance to represent their club and their county in the Munster championship. It would be a huge day for the club, he said, and they were willing to play the game anywhere at any time.

Sarsfields delegate Peter Lanigan was also critical of the fixing to the intermediate and senior hurling finals on the same day, with his club involved in both finals. The club had requested a sympathetic hearing since the same management team exists for both teams and ten of the intermediate players are subs on the senior team.

“It’s a very difficult situation and a serious problem for us. The club is very disappointed because having to look after two teams on the same day is very difficult. I cannot understand how the intermediate game could not have been played on a different day - that would have suited Moyne Templetuohy as well. We are not complaining about the fact that we are in both finals, but our case could have been heard a little more sympathetically,” he said.

Chairman Sean Nugent accepted that Sarsfields were in a very difficult situation with the two finals, but added that it was a tremendous achievement for the club to have both teams at this stage.

“If any club in Tipperary can deal with it, I am confident that Thurles Sarsfieldscan,” he said.

referee Recruitment

The drive is on to recruit more referees in Tipperary to assist the 95 active refs already in situ.

John Lonergan, Chairman of the Referees Recruitment Committee told Board members that a four night course will be held in February for new referees and they will be mentored for a year to help them to adjust to the game.

The average age of referees in the county is 44 years ;Mid and west Tipp 40; South 51; and North 44.

At present 25 clubs have no referee and they have been encouraged to find a knight of the whistle for the new year.