CO. SHC ROUND TWO REACTION
Ballygunner manager Fergal Hartley has criticised the excessive use of Fraher Field after the Dungarvan venue staged seven championship matches over the weekend (five senior and two intermediate) after it staged the same number of games the previous weekend.
In his view, Sunday night’s clash with An Rinn should have been moved elsewhere due to the muddy surface. “It’s a ridiculous situation where you have seven games on in Fraher Field on a weekend like this. The only game in the East this weekend was a game between two Eastern teams. There’s plenty of other pitches it could have been played in. It has to be questioned and it has to be looked at. From our perspective, we would be a little bit irate about it; being the seventh game of seven again this weekend. We were the seventh game of seven last weekend. Someone has to take a hard look at it. There’s no reason why this game shouldn’t have been changed from Fraher Field tonight. We were put out here under floodlights on a Sunday evening; we have fifteen lads going back to Dublin now at quarter to nine. It’s something that should be looked at.”
He argues that Walsh Park has been underutilised of late. “When Walsh Park is closed, any of our games will be up in the West and that’s fine. While Walsh Park is open, why play some of these games in the West? It’s not fair on the ground staff here. The pitch held up as well as it possibly could but that surface tonight was not suitable for playing hurling in and it should have been moved to a different venue.”
The Gunners took the field without five members of last year’s county final team (Barry Coughlan, Shane Walsh, David O’Sullivan, Brian O’Sullivan and Conor Power). Hartley must plan without half back Walsh who is abroad but he expects the rest to return for the next phase of the championship.