Today’s All-Ireland Fresher Hurling Final between UL and LIT was not played after chaos involving the venue of the game.
The game which was originally set to take place in Mary I today at 4.30pm was changed to Moylish earlier this week with the Mary I grounds not deemed suitable for the game.
With a coin toss to determine the venue, LIT came out on top and was acknowledged in LIT’s tweet earlier today ahead of the final.
However, UL, determined not to cede home advantage, refused to travel to Moylish.
As such, UL began their warm up in Mary I, whilst LIT began preparations in Moylish accordingly.
The referee and his team of officials showed up in LIT awaiting the game but left the field shortly after the alloted throw in time with UL still in the Mary I Grounds.
Ronan Keane, Games Development Officer at the University of Limerick, speaking with exclusively The Examiner spoke about his sides decision to travel to the original venue today.
“LIT, ourselves and Croke Park had an agreement to play the Freshers 1 Final in Mary I at 4:30pm. On Monday evening, the CCC decided that Mary I was unfit or deemed unusable for the game and a toss for venue, without our knowledge would take place.
“LIT won the toss and we were informed yesterday (Tuesday) that the game was moved to LIT. We queried why the game was to be moved to LIT and the exact wording was that Mary I was unsuitable.
“Unofficially, on a phone call I was told that it is not an enclosed venue and shouldn’t be used. I was completely baffled by that because both LIT and UL are not enclosed venues for an unenclosed venue when you already have one is bizarre altogether.
“Mary I has hosted Fitzgibbon games over the years. The pitch is perfectly playable. We weren’t looking for any special treatment here. We were looking for the fixture to go ahead as it was agreed.
“We are very disappointed. Ultimately, we are gutted for the players. LIT don’t want this, we certainly don’t want this. We just want to play the Fresher Final, in a neutral venue and give it the respect it deserves.
“I was in discussions with Croke Park today and I said that we were open to any suggestion, but it would have to be a neutral venue. I don’t mind where they bring us. If they want to bring us to Croke Park to play it we would go.
“If Croke Park came back with a fixture for a neutral venue in Limerick tomorrow we would jump at it. We are not trying to not play this game. We want the game played. We just feel that we had to take a stand.”
We will update accordingly as we get information.