Ballinkillen "determined and united"

October 01, 2019

A view of Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow. ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry.

Ballinkillen are determined to be reinstated into the Carlow SHC after being booted out yesterday.

The club opted not to fulfil their semi-final fixture against St Mullins on Sunday afternoon, citing player welfare concerns as five of their players were involved in a rescheduled intermediate football championship semi-final for Kildavin / Clonegal against Naomh Eoin on Saturday evening,

Carlow chiefs awarded the game to St Mullins on Monday but Ballinkillen will now take the case to Leinster Council:

“We'd be pragmatists. Matches have to be played and this time of year you have Leinster club and so on,” Ballinkillen chairman Brendan Leen told The Irish Independent. “But I cannot comprehend how it has come to this.

“We proposed a possible solution, we looked at the fixtures and there were weeks available that the football could have been rescheduled. There's only five hurling weeks in the whole year and this was one of them, and only four senior hurling clubs and the second most important weekend was disrupted because of a football fixture.

“We'd acknowledge as well any disruption to St Mullins, that isn't ideal for them and it was unintended but we had to stand and fight our corner. The club is determined and united and we'll put our case forward at Leinster and from there we'll see.”

Below is the statement issued by Ballinkillen on Sunday:

This is a statement on behalf of Ballinkillen GAA to clarify the reasons for the postponement of today’s senior hurling semi-final, scheduled for Netwatch Cullen Park at 3:30pm vs Naomh Moling.

Last Sunday, the club learned via social media that the intermediate football semi-final between Kildavin and Naomh Eoin had been scheduled for the preceding Saturday evening, September 28, at 6:00pm. On confirming this report, we immediately contacted the County Board with request that either of these fixtures be re-scheduled. There are five Ballinkillen hurlers involved with the Kildavin panel and the club took the view that to ask players to play two important matches within 18 hours of one another was unjust, against player welfare and against the player development pathway.

Given the fact that only five weekends had been set aside all year as hurling weeks it is unprecedented that a senior hurling semi-final would be disrupted in this way. It is one thing for a football fixture to encroach on a Monday or Tuesday of a hurling week, but for a match involving senior and intermediate hurlers to be re-fixed the evening before a senior semi-final is unacceptable.

This weekend should have been a special occasion for our club. Ballinkillen has not reached a senior semi-final for several years, and a huge amount of voluntary work has been put in at juvenile level and with this group of players in order to make progress. It is deeply disappointing to us that team preparations have been disrupted all week, culminating in this morning’s announcement that the senior semi-final has been postponed.

We have communicated to the County Board all week, up to and including late last night, attempting to find a resolution. Alternative dates were proposed that would allow both fixtures go ahead without compromising player welfare. Unfortunately, none of these suggestions have been taken on board. We have therefore informed the County Board that we cannot fulfill today’s fixture and have again requested the fixture to be rescheduled. We take this decision in the interests of player welfare and for the greater good of Carlow hurling and appeal to the better judgement of the County Board.

Le meas,
CLG Baile an Chuilinn

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