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Handpass rule bites the dust as admission prices are pumped up

 

By John Campbell

The decision by Central Council to scrap the experimental hand-pass rule has been largely welcomed despite the fact that the voting in favour of taking the step was a narrow 25-23.

However, the sin bin, the advanced mark, the 20-metre line kick out and the forward sideline kick will all apply to the Allianz League which begins next weekend.

The new rules, though, will not be applicable in the All-Ireland Championship but a further review will be undertaken after the flagship competition.

Meanwhile, it is going to cost more to attend major games and with immediate effect too. Pre-purchased tickets for Division One and Two Allianz League matches will increase from €12 to €15 with tickets bought on the day increased to €20. In Divisions 3 and 4 in football, and Divisions 2 and 3 in hurling, the admission prices will remain unchanged at €10 and €5.

The price rises will see All-Ireland Football and Hurling Finals stand tickets jump from €80 to €90. There will be a €5 increase for tickets to All-Ireland senior hurling and football semi-finals and will cost €50 for the stands and €35 for the terraces.

Elsewhere, Antrim suffered heartbreak in the Kehoe Cup hurling final when they lost to Westmeath on penalties after the sides had finished all-square, with Westmeath landing 2-20 and the Saffrons hitting 1-23.

James McNaughton missed the first Antrim penalty while Allan Devine, Niall Mitchell and Killian Doyle converted to seal the win for Westmeath.

In the All-Ireland Junior Club Football Championship semi-final a goal from James Lindsay and a late point from Joe McHugh helped to secure victory for Sligo side Easkey over Red Hughs of Donegal by 1-8 to 0-9.

Castleblayney, meanwhile, came up trumps in their All-Ireland Junior Club Hurling semi-final against Leitrim side Carrick winning by 1-8 to 0-10 with Hugh Byrne's goal proving a crucial score.

University of Ulster marched into the quarter-finals of the Sigerson Cup courtesy of a 1-13 to 1-8 win over IT Tralee with Pat Durcan landing 1-3 and Lee Brennan scoring four points.

Queen's, though, slipped up at home against Maynooth University who won by 0-9 to 0-8.

Omagh CBS proved superior to St Patrick's, Armagh in the McCormack Cup final winning by 1-16 to 0-9. The Tyrone school led by 1-8 to 0-5 at half-time.

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