Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

UUJ side stick to their guns

The UUJ is to stand by a threat not to fulfil next Tuesday's scheduled Sigerson Cup final against Garda College at Carlow.

Despite an appeal by the Jordanstown side for a change of venue for the decider, the Higher Education Council insists that the game must go on.

The finals weekend in March, which Carlow IT hosted, was thrown into disarray due to a number of appeals against the eligibility of some of the Garda players.

All those appeals were dismissed and the delayed semi-final took place this week with GMIT losing out to the Garda College.

Now the compeition is in danger of losing further credibility as the furore over the playing of the final mounts.

UUJ president John Farrell makes no bones about his side's objections to travelling to Carlow for a midweek assignment.

"We have players involved in examinations next week and it is totally unfair that they should be asked to travel such a distance. The Garda College is in Templemore - surely a more convenient venue for the game could be found," suggests Farrell.

He has a point there. Breffni Park in Cavan would appear to be a feasible venue given its excellent floodlighting and playing surface but the Higher Education Council would appear to be in no mood for change.

What a pity that a competition which features many of the outstanding players in the country is now in turmoil. While there is still time for a compromise to be reached in terms of a venue for the final, a major cloud has now been cast over a competition which has traditionally enjoyed the goodwill of the GAA fraternity.