Carlow club put in unfair position on one of their biggest ever weeks
This should have been a special weekend for the Ballinkillen hurlers.
Having not made it to a county senior semi-final in a number of years, their form this year brought them back to the big time.
A couple of big results, a few big wins and they'd made it to the last four. Anything can happen from there.
But unfortunately for the tiny village in the parish of Bagenalstown, their dreams were compromised. They didn't even get the chance.
Around these parts, any Gaels hoping to play football do it with nearby club Kildavin.
Five of the Ballinkillen hurlers were involved this year with the football team who were going well too. You know what's coming next.
STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF BALLINKILLEN GAA
Sunday, 29 September
This is a statement on behalf of Ballinkillen GAA to clarify the reasons for the postponement of the SHC Semi-final.https://t.co/zhrCTThwDg
— Ballinkillen GAA (@BallinkillenHC) September 29, 2019
So with the hurling semi-final against Naomh Moling long pencilled for the Sunday just past, the hurlers had been targeting it for a while. But their preparations were disrupted last weekend when the club learned that Kildavin's intermediate semi-final against Naomh Eoin was fixed for Saturday - just 18 hours before the hurling semi-final.
Ballinkillen were onto the county board all week with the hope of changing fixtures. But to no avail.
They issued the following statement on their Facebook page having not fulfilled the hurling fixture. We contacted Carlow county board in the meantime who have said that the CCCC are dealing with the issue, and that it will be resolved later today.
We will bring updates as they come to us.
"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.
CLG Baile an Chuilinn"