Former Limerick star Dymphna O'Brien
LIMERICK Ladies Football officials have confirmed a 9am throw-in for next Saturday’s County Junior Football Championship Final between Gerald Griffins and Groody Gaels.
The bizarre start-time has left some aghast.
The 9am fixture between the west Limerick side and the city side is to take place in Knockainey - a one hour journey from the Loughill-Ballyhahill parish of Gerald Griffins and 35-minutes from the St Patricks-Monaleen base in the City.
Gerald Griffins star player is Dymphna O’Brien – Limerick’s most decorated ladies footballer.
The talented forward has hit out at the fixture, stating it would mean a 6am start for players in her team to have breakfast, prepare properly, travel to the venue and warm-up before throw-in.
“It says a lot about the respect that the powers that be at the County Board have for players, supporters and their families when they schedule a county final for 9am in the morning to facilitate a tag rugby event,” said O’Brien.
“I have no doubt this type of comical scheduling would not occur in any of the other major codes or in any other county only Limerick,” she said.
This Monday morning, Limerick Ladies Football said that "as the winners do not proceed into the Munster Championship, there is no urgency in getting the fixture completed" and the board "would still welcome a new date being agreed between both clubs that would allow for the throw in to take place at a more suitable time."
Limerick Ladies Football Board has issued a clarification about the fixture to “provide context”
“At the August county board meeting, Groody Gaels notified all clubs that due to clash with an international women’s rugby tournament, Groody Gaels would request a new date for the junior final, should Groody Gaels reach the final. Despite several requests from Limerick Ladies Football Board and protracted discussions at the September County Board meeting, their opponents Gerald Griffins could not accommodate any of several suggested new dates, between September 10 and December 31- citing player availability,” said the County Board statement.
“The county board were left with no option but to hold the final on September 16. In light of this, and to give both teams the best opportunity to field at full strength, the final has been fixed for 9am on Saturday September 16.”