Home Sport GAA Handy calls for Joe McDonagh Cup winners to play in Fenway Hurling...

Handy calls for Joe McDonagh Cup winners to play in Fenway Hurling Classic

Fenway Hurling Classic

Laois GAA Secretary Niall Handy has called for the winners of the Joe McDonagh Cup in 2019 to be allowed to play in the Fenway Hurling Classic.

This is a hurling competition held annually at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

Matches in the Fenway Hurling Classic are played in the Super 11s format, which only permits goals to be scored, not points. Goals scored inside the 20 yards (18 m) exclusion zone are worth three points, else five points from outside.

This year, All-Ireland champions Limerick took on Cork and defeated them easily in front of a crowd of 12,600.

But writing in his annual report of Convention which will take place on Monday, Handy says he would like to see the winners of the Joe McDonagh Cup entered into this competition as a reward and an incentive to play in this Tier 2 competition.

He hit out at the GAA for their lack of promotion of the Joe McDonagh this year.

He said: “I can see the merits of this new competition (Joe McDonagh Cup).

“It affords us the opportunity of building our young team in an environment that we can be competitive in, with a realistic chance of silverware and if successful, we then get the chance to test ourselves against McCarthy opposition in an All Ireland Hurling preliminary quarter final and more importantly re-enter the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship the following year.

“The promises made at the advent of the introduction of this new competition, I don’t believe were fully fulfilled.

“Whilst the final as a curtain raiser to the Leinster Senior Hurling Final and the introduction of Champion 15 Awards for Joe McDonagh teams were welcome.

“However, the entire promotional aspect of this competition on TV was generally very disappointing, whilst promised rewards for the successful team never materialised either.

“I believe a commitment that the Joe McDonagh winning team would be part of the annual Fenway Hurling Classic in Boston each year would be a just reward.”

Laois went into the Joe McDonagh Cup as favourites but, defeats to Carlow, Westmeath and Kerry meant they wouldn’t win it this year.

Instead, they had to defeat Meath and Antrim to avoid relegation to the Christy Ring Cup.

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.