The underage amalgamation of Kilmore/Shannon Gaels/St. Ronan’s were awarded the U-14 Division Two football champions title after their opponents, Padraig Pearses, failed to turn up for the decider last weekend.
The fixture, which was postponed on two separate occasions, was to be played at Kilmore GAA grounds on Saturday last. However, the only team to take to the field for the 1p.m. throw-in was the North Roscommon amalgamation side.
Twenty minutes later, they were awarded the trophy after it became clear that their South Roscommon opponents would not be fulfilling the fixture.
Seamus Nugent, who presented the trophy on behalf of Roscommon Minor Board, explained to the Roscommon Herald that three attempts had been made to play the game since Kilmore/Shannon Gaels/St. Ronan’s semi-final victory in mid-September.
He added that Padraig Pearses had signalled on Friday night last that they would not be turning up in Kilmore the following day to fulfil the fixture. But the South Roscommon club was told that the match would have to go ahead as scheduled at that venue, which resulted in the scenario that unfolded on Saturday afternoon last.
A spokesperson for Padraig Pearses GAA Club said that they were disappointed that the championship has been awarded to Kilmore/Shannon Gaels/St. Ronan’s in such circumstances.
“We informed Roscommon Minor Board earlier in the week that we wouldn’t be turning up in Kilmore. The rule book states that finals have to be played at a neutral venue. We’re willing to play the game at anytime and anywhere but we feel that it’s unfair that we should be asked to play a final in our opponent’s home pitch.
“We accept that there has been frustration on Kilmore/Shannon Gaels/St. Ronan’s part that it has taken so long to get this final played and that they have been lying idle for a number of weeks.
“We were forced to concede a game to Kilmore/Shannon Gaels/St. Ronan’s earlier in the championship because it clashed with a hurling fixture, and we weren’t accommodated.
“Our semi-final against Strokestown was delayed for a number of weeks because Strokestown weren’t in a position to field as they had a number of injuries. Rather than be awarded the game, we waited until Strokestown were in a position to play us, and we beat them,” said the Pearses spokesperson.
Originally, the final was meant to be played in Lisnamult on Saturday, November 9th, but was subsequently postponed at Pearses’ request.
“Once our senior team beat Tourlestrane in the Connacht Club Championship, we knew we were playing Tír Chonaill Gaels in London on the weekend of the U-14 final. We had a number of U-14 players and their parents that were making arrangements to attend the game in London. We felt that these were exceptional circumstances.
“We subsequently said that we would play the game on any day of the week but the game was fixed for Kilmore. It’s disappointing that has happened because I’m sure a trophy being presented in these circumstances isn’t of much value to the opposition,” the Pearses spokesperson concluded.