Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Kernan kicking his heels in New York

When Joe Kernan brought his Galway team across the Atlantic to face New York in the opening match in this year’s All Ireland Championship series on Sunday he had been keeping his fingers crossed that there would not be extra-time in the game.

There wasn’t — but Joe and his players along with team officials and a group of supporters are still in the Big Apple because of flight difficulties occasioned as a result of the volcanic ash eruption in Iceland.

Instead of overseeing a Galway training session in Salthill last night, Kernan was kicking his heels in New York wondering just when he might be back on Irish soil.

“It’s all very frustrating,” he said. “Here we are hanging around wondering just what is happening. We have been told that there is a chance that we might at least get to London today and hopefully we would be able to take things on from there but there is no guarantee that anything will work out.

“And it could have been a lot worse — had we stayed with Delta Airlines we were informed that the earliest we’d have been home was May 18!

“We have some work to do before we meet either Mayo or Sligo in the Connacht semi-final and the sooner we get down to it the better. We got a scare on Sunday and now we are grounded. It’s all very frustrating,” added the former Armagh All Ireland winning boss.

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The GAA are unlikely to accede to strong calls in recent days for the top flight of the hurling league to be restored to a 12-team division.

GAA president Christy Cooney (pictured) put forward his personal view yesterday that the need to have a strong Division 2 was of paramount importance to teams like Laois and Antrim, who have the ambition to get stronger.

He was more open however to reviewing the absence of semi-finals from the calendar in hurling and football since they were dispensed with for the 2008 leagues.

In the build-up to last weekend's Division 2 hurling final, Wexford manager Colm Bonnar made an impassioned plea for the GAA to review the hurling league structures on the basis that it was killing hurling in some counties because they were removed from the mainstream hurling teams.

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