Limerick clubs hit out at Emmets

LAST week’s failure by Emmets to start the county senior hurling championship game against Adare could spell the end of the involvement of divisional teams in the Limerick SHC.

LAST week’s failure by Emmets to start the county senior hurling championship game against Adare could spell the end of the involvement of divisional teams in the Limerick SHC.

Within 24 hours of the debacle, three different clubs had submitted letters to the County Board expressing disappointment with the events surrounding the game.

It is understood that Emmets’ failure to start the game with 15 players is the first time that such a scenario has occurred, in living memory, in the county senior hurling championship.

However, it appears that Emmets broke no ruling.

While, they had 15-players on the field of play within minutes of the throw-in, Adare had 1-2 on the scoreboard by then and a demoralised Emmets could not stop Ger O’Loughlin’s side from totalling 5-19 over the hour.

Both Bruree and Granagh-Ballingarry will bemoan the result with Adare turning over the previously unbeaten Emmets to snatch a last gasp quarter-final place.

They reached the quarter-final with a better scoring difference to Bruree, while the results put Granagh-Ballingarry into relegation trouble after a season that started so brightly with a win over Adare.

However, they entered the final round with a better scoring difference so didn’t require the massive margin that transpired.

However, many would have favoured Emmets to beat Adare had they been of the same physical and mental state of earlier in the championship.

Nonetheless Emmets still progress in the championship.

Indeed this is the fourth season that Emmets have progressed to the knockout stages - 2011 (semi-final), 2010 (final) and 2009 (semi-final).

Prior to Emmets, both Western Gaels (2008) and Geraldines (2007) were also quarter-finalists.

It was a Hurling Review Committee set up in July 2004 that brought about the divisional involvement.

The six-man sub committee (Michael O’Sullivan, John Landers, Paddy Kelly, Michael Graham, Tony Roche and Liam Lenihan) brought the proposal to a Special County Board meeting in January 2006 and the divisional team appeared in the 2007 championship.

Now it appears almost certain that the divisional involvement will be up for debate at this December’s County Convention with a number of clubs likely to put forward proposals to end the six year experiment.

This Monday the Bruree, Effin and Hospital-Herbertstown clubs all expressed concerns in letters to the County Board in relation to last Sunday’s divisional performance.

The matter was discussed at this Monday night’s Limerick GAA CCC meeting in the Gaelic Grounds.

However, any change will have to come from the clubs and will have to come in the form of a motion at Convention time, when the clubs would ultimately decide when a vote was taken.