OK, firstly, volunteering is volunteering. It comes from the volunteer themselves. It is not for another to ‘volunteer’ the other. At this point in time, I am not in a position to serve on an executive. I work out of the county and am away during the week. Truth to tell, I am not involved with my native club and while that is not ideal, there isn’t much I can do about it. I salute the work the volunteers at county and club level and I try to be fair in my commentaries here.
Still, I do what I can. As many here know, I am a keen programme collector and I contribute statistics and articles for the match programmes produced by Offaly board. I spent Hurricane Ophelia day gathering historical statistics for the Rhode v Portlaoise and the Kilcormac v Castletown Geoghegan programmes. I hate Offaly being crap at stuff and while I won’t be coaching teams, I do what I can to add a little quality to Offaly’s match programmes. I would point out that this, and other small volunteer work can be contributed without membership of a committee.
Now, looking at the timing of the minor hurling semi-finals and Final. April and May is taken up with inter-county minor championships, while June is for the State exams, though I note Minor fotball’s round 1 was held on 26th May. After July 1st, the schedule was as follows: -
5th July – Minor hurling, round 1
12th July – Minor football, round 2
19th July – Minor football, round 3
26th July – Minor hurling, round 2
2nd August – Minor football, round 4
9th August – Minor hurling, round 3
16th August – Minor hurling, round 4
23rd August – Minor hurling – round 5
That left six teams left in each code. Ferbane-Belmont and Ballinamere-Durrow wer still in both. And then the pinch point hit. There was a three way play-off required in Junior hurling (which involved Belmont), evenings became darker and there were no midweek matches from something like mid September (for hurling, anyway).
The knockout stages were held as follows –
17th September – Minor hurling quarter-finals
29th September – Minor football quarter-finals
4th October – Minor football semi-finals
15th October – Minor football Final
30th October – Minor hurling semi-finals
Now, given the involvement of St Rynagh’s (Senior hurling), Ballinamere (Intermediate and Junior hurling), Belmont (Senior and Junior hurling), Ferbane (Senior and junior football), Durrow (Senior ‘B’ football) and I’m sure there were several others, it is unfortunate that the minor hurling was the one to get deferred. But the options were – to delay a championship or competition where the winners would compete in Leinster on the one hand; make certain players play two or more matches a week on another hand; or seek the goodwill of a club or clubs not to expect a Minor player to also line out with their club’s adult team on a particular weekend, on the third hand. I cannot see an alternative? Can anyone else?
Buttons pointed out that a few fellas had to kick football with Durrow in Leinster on a Saturday and to hurl in the Minor final on the next day. But what was the alternative? To defer the Minor hurling? Now, okay, that would have been played today – but what if Durrow beat Rochfortbridge, and subsequently won in Wexford? What then for the Minor hurling Final? And what of the Minor hurling final if Ballinamere had beaten Fr Daltons, and/or if St Rynagh’s (who had a crossover of Senior/Minor hurlers) had won the Senior final?
As for U21 hurling, perhaps the thing to do is to do what they do in Kilkenny (and what they used to do in Offaly for much of the 1990s, and that is to schedule it in November. I don't hear complaints regarding the autumn setting from Kilkenny - it is a fact of life there.
LooseCannon wrote:My sincerest apologies, I forgot to proofread my statement. Your application of logic to problem solving is majestic. Something which organisers and administrators to do with GAA in the county have been lacking for the past years.
It was a comment made not to be sarcastic, but to be serious. From reading posts of yours for the last number of years, you have always been logical, as well as realistic in your approach towards problems or areas to improve upon in relation to Offaly GAA. I was being serious when I asked the question, while hoping maybe if not you, then a like-minded individual could help freshen things up at CB level, by helping to rid our county’s administrative committees of the same lads who are on it this 15 years. I wasn’t implying you of being a hurler on the ditch at all, and I earnestly apologise if I conveyed such a portrait at all, it most certainly wasn’t my intention if I did so.
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.