‘It’s a bummer’, says Mary I soccer captain as gamed to be played at Limerick IT

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

The Mary Immaculate College Freshers hurling side will be using the only pitch available this Wednesday

The Mary Immaculate College Freshers hurling side will be using the only pitch available this Wednesday

MARY Immaculate College soccer team will have to play their biggest match of the season at another college because the only pitch available will be used by the college freshers hurling panel.

Airtricity Premier Division newcomers UCD bring a side to Limerick this Wednesday for a Collingwood Cup tie, the top universities soccer competition.

But rather than in the South Circular Road, the local soccer team will lose home advantage and play at the Limerick Institute of Technology in Moylish at 2pm this Wednesday.

The move has been described as a “bummer” by team captain Dermot Murphy, who said support for the team will be at a “minimum” now the game has been moved.

“We won’t get the same support we were hoping for,” he said. “It’s a huge game, and it’s disheartening to think we now have to play the game away. We were quite excited about playing in Mary Immaculate College. It would have been quite exciting. But for it to be thrown back, it means we are back at square one again,” he told the Limerick Leader.

It’s the first time Mary Immaculate College have ever been drawn at home in third level soccer’s top competition.

For its part Mary Immaculate College sports staff had said the soccer team could have played the game at home on Friday.

But their opposition UCD, who are gearing up for their first season back in Ireland’s top flight have a friendly scheduled for that day.

Prior to Christmas, the Leader revealed how college bosses had initially refused to grant a request to use the college’s pitch.

In internal emails seen by the Leader, it was revealed the team’s request had been discussed at the college’s executive committee meeting.

“While the college supports and encourages all sports, there were a number of issues that deemed it impractical to grant your request, namely pitch mark-up, heavy scheduling on the pitch, protecting the pitch surface and a lack of a back-up all weather surfaced pitch nearby,” wrote sports officer Ciara Cregan.

It appears that following this article, college bosses did then decide to offer the pitch, with a spokesperson this week confirming the sports office wrote to the team manager Noel O’Connor and captain Mr Murphy earlier this month offering the pitch for Friday.

“Unfortunately, this date did not suit them and at that late stage, the pitch had consequently been booked by other Mary Immaculate College sports teams for the remainder of the week,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also confirmed the pitch is being used this Wednesday by the college’s freshers hurling panel.