Hartley lets fly

April 13, 2018

Ballygunner manager Fergal Hartley.
©INPHO/James Crombie.

Ballygunner manager Fergal Hartley is bemused with the fact that Fraher Field hosted seven championship games for the second week running, despite other venues being available.

Much has been made of the pitches in Waterford this year as the county senior hurlers must play their Munster SHC round robin matches all away from home as Walsh Park and Fraher Field are not deemed suitable for games of that standing.

However, Hartley told the Waterford News & Star that he can't understand why Walsh Park is not being used more as his side was forced to take to an overused Fraher Field last weekend.

Ballygunner had no problem in seeing off the challenge of An Rinn, but Hartley was more concerned over the state of the pitch that they were forced to play on.

"It's a ridiculous situation when you have seven games on in Fraher Field on a weekend like this," said Hartley.

"The only game in the east this weekend was a game between eastern teams. There's plenty of other pitches it could have been played on. It has to be questioned and it has to be looked at. From our perspective, we would be a little irate about it; being the seventh game of seven again this weekend.

"We were the seventh game of seven last weekend. Someone has to take a hard look at it. There's no reason why this game shouldn't have been changed from Fraher Field."

He added: "When Walsh Park is closed, any of our games will be up in the west and that's fine. While Walsh Park is open, why play some of these games in the west? It's not fair on the ground staff at Fraher Field. The pitch held up as well as possible, but the surface was not suitable for playing hurling in and it should have been moved to a different venue."

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