Dublin's reign as O'Byrne Cup champions looks set to be extended even further with the havoc Storm Emma has wrought on this weekend's GAA fixtures. All this weekend's Allianz League games have been postponed, with the GAA confirming that the football games scheduled for this weekend will now take place on the weekend of March 10th/11th.
This had been down as a free weekend for almost all football teams in the country. The exceptions were Derry and Wexford (meeting in Division 3), London and Carlow (they clash in Division 4) and Meath and Westmeath, who were due to meet in the O'Byrne Cup final on Sunday, March 11th.
With the National League set to take precedence, it looks like the final will have to be refixed for the third time. The final was initially set for January 21st at O'Moore Park, but was postponed due to an unplayable pitch. It was rescheduled for Sunday, February 18th, but didn't go ahead then either as it clashed Meath's refixed Allianz League fixture against Cavan. (The delayed McKenna Cup and FBD League finals went ahead that Sunday).
It was then decreed that the final would be played on Sunday, March 11th. That probably won't happen now, either, as both Meath (vs Cork) and Westmeath (vs Fermanagh) will have refixed league games that afternoon.
So when can it be played?
The following weekend is out, owing to the sixth round of the football leagues. The weekend after is off limits too, owing to the seventh and final round of fixtures in the football leagues. That frees up the weekend of March 31st/April 1st, once neither Meath nor Westmeath end up in the Division 2 or Division 3 final respectively. Meath's form thus far makes their making a final unlikely - they currently lie second from bottom of Division 2, with just 3 points.
Westmeath, meanwhile, are fourth in the third division, but are just two points off leaders Armagh and Fermanagh. Were they to win their final three games against Longford, Fermanagh and Offaly, however, that should be enough to force their way into the top two, and therefore into the Division 3 final on March 31st.
If that happens, it means that we will find ourselves in the absurd situation where the GAA's attempt to ringfence April for club fixtures will be hoisted at the first attempt by a pre-season tournament that began in January.
We contacted the Leinster Council for clarification...but their offices are closed until Monday because of the weather.