With no wriggle left for fixtures, Kilkenny clubs get a little concerned

John Knox

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John Knox

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With no wriggle left for fixtures, Kilkenny clubs get a little concerned

The game is off and the flags have to be taken in - Wexford Park on Sunday Picture: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

The bad weather blew the GAA into the last chance saloon at the weekend.
The cancellation of fixtures right across the country because of the harsh weather has left the organisation without any wriggle room for League fixtures going forward.
Another disruption of the programme of matches in the National Leagues would mean the competitions would run into April.
The month of April is designated as ‘club time’, but it didn’t work out that way 12 months ago.
Consequently the GAA will be keeping its fingers crossed that the weather will hold up from now on and there will be a clear run to the finish of the National League finals, hurling and football.
Because of time constraints, both finals will now be played on the same weekend of March 31.
“There is no more room left to change things,” explained former Kilkenny County Board chairman, Ned Quinn, the current chairman of the powerful Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC).
“Our decision was based on maintaining April as a month for club games,” he continued after the CCCC reorganised the complete fixtures programme for both Leagues at a meeting on Monday.
The rescheduled fixtures include the Wexford versus Kilkenny Hurling League match which was rained off last Sunday. It will now be played this Sunday (2pm) in Wexford.
All subsequent fixtures have been pushed back a week - League quarter-finals to the St Patrick’s Bank Holiday weekend; semi-finals to the weekend March 23/24; finals on weekend March 31.
Last year the harsh weather forced the Hurling League final back into April. The Kilkenny/Tipperary decider was played on Sunday, April 8.
That delay in turn robbed time for the playing of local club matches during April.
Only one round of League/Championship matches was squeezed into April because the county squad was going into training for the Leinster Round Robin championship.
The next series of local League/Championship games wasn’t played for 17 weeks, on August 10.
Kilkenny clubs had been gearing up for a busy April, and preparing squads was costly.
It didn’t happen, and they don’t want a similar occurrence this season.
The County Board has fixed two rounds of the League/Championship for April (6/7 and 19/21) with another squeezed into May, staggered from the 18th to 22nd.
The fourth round should be no problem then on the weekend of August 31.
However, when Sunday’s Wexford tie fell victim to the bad weather, thoughts of the bad old days of 2018 surfaced.
No wriggle room? Let’s hope none is required.

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