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Kildare Manager Hits Out At GAA's Treatment Of Weaker Hurling Counties This Weekend

Kildare Manager Hits Out At GAA's Treatment Of Weaker Hurling Counties This Weekend
By Gavin Cooney

The Kildare footballers won their battle with the GAA, but their hurlers feel equally put out by the Association this week.

Although Kildare won the Christy Ring Cup against London last weekend, they are not yet guaranteed promotion to the Joe McDonagh Cup. Owing to the GAA's desire to fill the Nicky Rackard Cup with an even number of teams (it operates on a two-group, round-robin bases), they have taken a spot from next year's McDonagh Cup, meaning the Ring Cup winners need to win a playoff against the side that finishes second from bottom in the second tier to earn promotion.

Antrim filled that dubious position in the McDonagh Cup, meaning they face Kildare in the playoff. The timing of that playoff, however, has angered Kildare hurling manager, Joe Quaid. The game is throwing in at 12.45pm at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh on Saturday afternoon, as a prelude to the All-Ireland football qualifier between Armagh and Clare.

Speaking to Balls, Quaid spoke of his anger that the game has been fixed just a week after their All-Ireland final, and at the same time as a Kildare minor hurling game in Portlaoise.

From our perspective, we have to go out a week later. It is fixed for the same time as our minors are playing, as a curtain raiser to a round three football qualifier even though our own county is on, too. It makes no sense. Why not have a double header? Also, the weaker teams in the football championship get a home draw, why don't we?

There is very little that we can do, but hope the GAA use a little bit of common sense, but they've probably used all of it with our footballers today. Technically you cannot appeal a fixture and we all know how technically-minded the GAA are.

The players want the best opportunity they can to play in the Joe McDonagh. Playing the week after the final in Armagh isn't exactly giving us an even footing.

The venue is the least of it, that's an insult on top of an insult. The main thing is that we give the lads a bit of recovery. This will be our sixth game in seven weeks. Since we started the Christy Ring, we have had one weekend off.

These guys are working all week. Now they are being asked to go out and play at the hottest time of the day, at quarter to one. What's the thought process behind this?

Obviously, there is none.

Quaid was also critical of the GAA's decision to hold the Joe McDonagh Cup final at the same time as the Munster final. Both games throw in at 2pm on Sunday afternoon.

And it's not fair for the Joe McDonagh teams, either. They have burst their arses all year to try and get to a final, and it's put on at the same time as the Munster final. It'll barely get a couple of headlines.

It doesn't make any sense to me, and then they have the Joe McDonagh Cup final at the same time at the Munster final, but they have been paying lip service to that. There have been some unbelievable games in that, and none of it has been televised.

The GAA have yet to respond to our request for comment.

See Also: Victory For Kildare: Qualifier Game Vs Mayo To Be Played In Newbridge


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