Exams first big test for Queen’s
The second Gaelic Life Dr McKenna Cup semi-final between Down and Queen’s will be played on Thursday night at Pairc Esler, Newry (7.30).
The game had originally been fixed for tomorrow night but has been postponed for twenty-four hours because it is understood that Queen’s have up to twelve players involved in examinations tomorrow.
Down manager Ross Carr and Queen’s boss Aidan O’Rourke have agreed to the switch but it is believed that the Ulster Council will still insist on the final taking place on Saturday as originally scheduled.
“We are conscious of the situation in relation to Queen’s and we felt that the twenty-four hour
deferring of the semi-final was the best option to take,” sais Ulster Council spokesman Michael Hasson.
Down are the holders of the trophy and have already beaten St Mary’s and Tyrone to date while Queen’s have accounted for Cavan and Antrim in their section en route to the last four.
Meanwhile, a player with whom O’Rourke shared All Ireland glory in 2002 is not quite enjoying early-season success.
Kieran McGeeney watched his Kildare side lose out to DC in the O’Byrne Cup and then hit out at what he regarded were their feeble efforts to advance in the competition.
“Stupidity at the end of the day probably lost us that game — giving balls away in very silly positions,” he said.
“Even at the end, some of our more experienced players were giving it away under no pressure whatsoever.
"There’s nothing worse. If you play a game and are beaten by some fantastic play, then you can stand up and take it.
"But if you give the ball away to somebody to make them look fantastic, it’s harder to accept,” rapped McGeeney.
“And they had quality players. They’re all inter-county players, so if you’re going to give the ball away to them, they’re going to punish you."
Meanwhile, the GAA has confirmed it is looking for a new sponsor for the International Rules Series after Coca Cola ended their 11 year involvement in the hybrid game.
The company came on board as series sponsors when the game was rekindled in 1998 and two years later signed up as sponsors to the Irish team.
Commenting on the decision, GAA President Nickey Brennan stated: "The GAA would like to thank Coca Cola for their support as series sponsors since 1998 and team sponsors since 2000.
"And I would also like to acknowledge their continued sponsorship with Feile Peil na nOg and Feile na nGael."
The GAA is confident of securing a new sponsor, though.