The Wicklow County Board have responded after SFC champions St. Patricks were forced to play two games in two days last weekend in a result that left many club members fuming.
St. Patricks defeated Rathnew in the Wicklow County final replay on Saturday and went on to play Offaly champions Rhode a day later. They lost 2-16 to 1-9.
Today, the Wicklow County Board explained that there was "a cross-over of dual players participating in both senior hurling and senior football county finals."
The body also clarified that there is no rule to allow for extra-time, which meant a replay was required. It could not be played midweek due to a lack of floodlights and they claim they could come to an agreement with Rhode.
Our competition regulations do not provide for extra-time in a county final and we are constrained by Joule Park Aughrim not having floodlights to host a replay mid-week. We made efforts to change the date of the Leinster Club Championship match with Rhode but no agreement could be reached.
Wicklow's inter-county outfits had bought exited the Championship by June, but the county board state that there were mitigating circumstances for the County Final taking place in mid-October.
"The league started earlier and was completed in advance of the championship."
"The club senior championship was played off on a round-robin basis with clubs guaranteed at least five games as opposed to two games in 2017. The county finalists got nine games. Contrary to reports, the unavailability of J1 Visa players did not hold up the championship). The championship commenced the second week in July."
"Wicklow GAA senior inter-county football team exited the All-Ireland championship on 9th June. In the time between that and the start of the club championship, the concluding stages of the county league took place (as requested by the clubs). Other inter-county competitions limited our opportunity to play the club championship any earlier. Our Under 20 football team exited the Leinster Championship on 16th June."
"From the start of the club championships in July football and hurling games took place week-on week-off despite the challenge faced by Wicklow as a dual code county. We also had to plan for the All-Ireland Under 21 B competition in July."