THE postponement of the crucial Division 1 Hurling League game between Ballinakill and Castletown-Slieve Bloom last Friday night was met with anger from Camross at the July meeting of the Laois County Board.
The game was postponed due to the weather and was refixed for last Monday night however Castletown Slieve Bloom could not fulfill the fixture and a walkover was given to Ballinakill.
That had serious implications for the final league table and the subsequent placings in the championship which are decided this year on the basis of league positions.
As a result of the walkover Ballinakill topped Division 1B without having to play their final game as they had the head to head win over Camross when the sides finished level on points with three wins each from four games.
Had the game gone ahead, Ballinakill would have had to defeat Castletown Slieve Bloom by more than 11 points to overhaul Camorss.
Ballinakill are now in the Division 1 League Final in September and also get a bye into the quarter-final of the championship.
Camross delegate Tim Doran expressed his club’s disappointment at how the league had finished and he questioned how a walkover could be given for such an important game.
Castletown delegate Monica Delaney said the club had no option but to award a walkover after the game was called off late on Friday due to a waterlogged pitch and then refixed for Monday. She told the meeting that the club would have been unable to field a team on Monday due to the unavailability of a number of players.
She claimed that her club had been ‘very badly treated’ and she claimed that Ballinakill knew earlier on Friday that the pitch would not be playable however Castletown were only informed that the game was off when they arrived ‘in their droves’ for the game. Ms Delaney said the game should have reverted to Castletown as that was the rule when a home team’s pitch was unplayable but she added that the time taken to decide on the playability or otherwise of the pitch meant that was not possible.
“We didn’t just give a walkover. We turned up,” she concluded.
County Board Chairman Brian Allen said that with regard to walkovers, teams were allowed to give one and that unfortunately was the rule.
He added however that the situation had to be looked at as it had happened before and had what he described as ‘knock on consequences’.