Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Joe Kernan: Ulster Council deserve to get lucky with weather after call-off

It is not often that the Ulster Council scores Brownie points for decisions at which it arrives.

But last weekend the Council found itself the recipient of praise from all sides following the early decision to call off all three Ulster club football finals because of the prevailing arctic conditions.

No dithering, no meaningless pitch inspection arrangements, no playing for time — the call was made and it ended there.

It meant that players, officials and fans could press ahead with plans to spend Sunday with their families or friends and not be subjected to the utterly frustrating experience of arriving at a venue to discover that a game had only been called off an hour beforehand.

There is certainly a more enlightened approach to fixtures nowadays and that is certainly comforting. Information is put into the public domain quickly and effectively and this is very much appreciated.

Obviously the Council now faces an anxious wait to see if there will be any let-up in the big freeze that might just allow the games to go ahead this weekend. To be candid, the omens do not look good.

The winners of the Ulster club senior final between Crossmaglen Rangers and Naomh Conaill were due to meet British champions Neasdon Gaels in London this Sunday but of course that match is very much up in the air at the moment.

A further wholesale postponement this weekend could lumber the Ulster Council with a huge headache but there is nothing they can do to alleviate the situation. It is a great pity that what are three very attractive club finals could now be consigned to a pre-Christmas date that may well see them shed some of their appeal.

Hopefully the opportunity will still present itself to allow the curtain come down in the appropriate manner.

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