There is considerable disappointment in Laois ladies football circles that this year’s senior county final won’t be played in O’Moore Park – instead the Sarsfields v Timahoe clash being fixed for Crettyard this coming Sunday.
The Laois ladies football junior and intermediate finals are being played as part of a double header in O’Moore Park on Saturday but the senior final is going ahead on Sunday, with O’Moore Park not booked by Laois LGFA the game is instead being played in Crettyard.
Sarsfields had submitted a request earlier in the year not to have a fixture on the Saturday of this weekend, hence why that game is going ahead on Sunday and not as part of a triple header with the other two finals on Saturday in O’Moore Park as it was for last year’s final.
A club senior hurling double header takes place in O’Moore Park at 2pm and 3.30pm on Sunday but there is a frustration that a request to use the facility was not submitted by the Ladies Association to Laois GAA.
Laois GAA Secretary Niall Handy explained: “Ladies Football were afforded the opportunity to play two of their finals this weekend in OMoore Park and were offered either Saturday afternoon or Sunday evening, whereby Laois GAA would work our Senior Hurling Championship around their schedule.
“They informed me that Saturday afternoon was their preference. I am unaware of any request or application to play a Senior game on the Sunday.”
And the managers of both teams have expressed their disappointment at the fixture.
“It’s very disappointing especially with the promotion of ladies sport that is going on with 20×20 movement,” said Timahoe manager John Scully, who is looking to guide his side to a first success since 2012.
“A lot of our younger girls haven’t played in O’Moore Park – except maybe for Cumann na mBunscol – and you never know how things work out down the line.
“We have a lot of great young players but we’re also relying on a lot of the older girls and if they move on, we mightn’t have the chance again.
“You don’t know when you’d get back to a final again. You could never imagine a men’s final being played anywhere else than O’Moore Park. Every game of the men’s senior hurling and football is played in O’Moore Park and it’s a pity the ladies final can’t be fixed there.
“It is a big deal for players to get to play in O’Moore Park and it does make it a bit more special for a county final to be played in the best ground.”
Donie O’Mahony, who is managing a Sarsfields side seeking a seventh title in a row and a ninth overall, had a similar view.
“It’s extremely disappointing that the game is not in O’Moore Park on Sunday. To see how much work Sarsfields put in and I’m sure Timahoe too, is not reflected in the decision to play the game outside O’Moore Park.
“The girls train and work as hard as any team I’ve played on or managed. I’ve been fortunate to play in O Moore Park on many occasions for both club and county and each time was a privilege and memorable.
“The honour to play there reflects the time and effort you put in to your club. To see that there is no games in O Moore Park Sunday evening adds to the disappointment.
“I’m sure the county board has a genuine reason for not playing the game there but it does not show the respect that the ladies game deserves.”
The Laois ladies senior final takes place in Crettyard at 2.45pm on Sunday – it will be preceded by the relegation final between St Brigid’s and Shanahoe.
The junior final on Saturday sees Clonaslee take on Ballyfin at 2pm while St Paul’s and Ballyroan meet in the intermediate final at 3.30pm.