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Strange Scenes In Westmeath As Neither Team Turn Up For Minor Final

Strange Scenes In Westmeath As Neither Team Turn Up For Minor Final
By Conor Neville Updated

The Westmeath minor hurling final was scheduled for today at 1.30. The referee and his team of officials were ready for action. The Cup was no doubt sitting in its perch in the main stand. Everything was ready.

Except neither team showed up.

Clonkill were due to take on Raharney and later in the day, the same duo were to do battle in the senior final.

This presented a complication. A number of the minor players were also needed by their respective senior teams. They would have to play 120 minutes of hurling on the day.

On Thursday, both clubs agreed that they would be unable to fulfil the minor fixture on the scheduled day. The two clubs wrote to the Westmeath county board asking them to postpone the minor final. In the circumstances, this seemed like the sensible thing to do.

The county board refused to postpone the game. The clubs say they did not meet with them to discuss the matter.

The two clubs followed through on their boycott today. Midlands Radio 103 confirmed to us that the referee and his officials both showed up for the game only to find that neither team were there.

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A joint letter signed by both club secretaries was sent to Westmeath County Board yesterday afternoon informing them of our position and requesting a postponement of the Minor Final. Both clubs also offered to meet County Board officials to try and resolve this issue. To date the County Board has refused to postpone the game or meet the clubs to discuss. There have been intense efforts from many people across the county and beyond to mediate in this situation and to date all efforts have proved futile. As a club we are very proud of our minor and senior players having reached their respective finals and our only wish is that every player achieve their maximum potential in both finals. In our efforts to promote our game of Hurling to the highest standard, we believe that is totally unfair to ask Minor Hurlers to play 120 minutes, across two matches in succession on the one day. At this late stage we would once again request the County Board to reconsider their position and postpone Sunday's Minor Final, out of respect to the two clubs involved. We trust our friends and supporters will the support the club on the stance we have taken on this. We would like to wish everybody connected with senior squad the very best in the senior final. Ratháirne Abú.

Read more: The Full Draw For The 2016 GAA Football Championship

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