Tensions rise over Galway hurlers not lining out with their football clubs

Galway hurler Pádraic Mannion who was one of a number of players caught up in a club versus county struggle last weekend.
Galway hurler Pádraic Mannion who was one of a number of players caught up in a club versus county struggle last weekend.

IT was the weekend in Galway GAA when club and county were pitted against each other as a number of prominent dual players either ‘declined’ or were ‘gently persuaded’ not to play in the first round of the county senior football championship.

Word had spread in the run-up to last weekend’s matches that six members of the Galway senior hurling panel would not be playing with their clubs in the football championship.

Four of the six ended up not lining out with their clubs – a development that led to a strong grassroots reaction with a number of sources describing it as ‘a bad day for the Galway club scene’.

A number of callers who contacted Tribune Sport described it as an ‘intolerable situation’ when players were put in a ‘between the Devil and deep blue sea’ quandary, where they had to decide between club and county – a full two weeks before Galway hurlers’ Leinster quarter-final clash with Dublin in Tullamore on Sunday, May 28.

The clubs that were impacted on last weekend were Caltra, St. Michael’s, Corofin and Monivea-Abbeyknockmoy, although in the latter case, the Flaherty brothers – Brian and Paul – chose to line out with their club.

Caltra, who suffered a heavy 1-17 to 0-6 defeat at the hands of St. James’ in Athenry had to line out without the services of the Mannion brothers, Padraic and Cathal, as a result of their ‘commitments’ to the Galway hurlers.

Galway city club, St. Michael’s also lined out without their inter-county hurler, John Hanbury, in a first-round senior football championship match against Naomh Anna/Leitir Móir, played on last Thursday evening, May 11, a full 17 days before the hurling encounter with Dublin.

St. Michael’s ended up suffering a narrow 2-13 to 1-14 defeat at the hands of their West Board rivals. Corofin lined out without Daithí Burke, but their strength in depth, didn’t see them in any difficulty when overcoming Cortoon Shamrocks on a 2-15 to 0-8 scoreline.

There was though a different scenario in Athenry on Sunday, where an already severely depleted Monivea-Abbeyknockmoy side, would, in all probability, have faced inevitable defeat at the hands of Kilconly, had they to line out without the Flaherty brothers, Brian and Paul, both members of the county hurling panel.

However, when push came to shove, the Flahertys lined out with their colleagues, and played key roles in Monivea-Abbey’s 1-12 to 0-11 success against Kilconly.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.