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Live TV schedule is once again leaving football in the shade

In frame: Limerick’s Pat Ryan and Stephen McDonnell of Cork
In frame: Limerick’s Pat Ryan and Stephen McDonnell of Cork
Declan Bogue

By Declan Bogue

Far from being an endangered species, the 'hurling snob' is alive and well in Ulster and multiplying.

And they will have been nothing short of delighted when RTÉ rolled out the schedule of games for live coverage this summer.

On May 12, the same day Tyrone are taking on Derry in the Ulster Championship, the full bells and whistles will be in Walsh Park to check out the spruced up venue as Waterford host their first Championship hurling game in an age, a spiky one against Clare.

And the cameras will also be keen to pick out some relatively fresh looking concrete the day after when they are at the Old Firm of Cork and Tipperary.

The following week, two more games in the Munster Hurling Championship form the double-header. It is Tipperary v Waterford, and All-Ireland champions Limerick get the chance to recreate their stunning, breathtaking encounters with Cork from last year.

It's Galway and Wexford in the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship the week after that on May 26.

The following week, it's all down to the deep south once again for Waterford v Limerick, followed by Clare and Tipperary in another double-header.

So far, there's no sign of a football game. Whatsoever.

It takes until June 8 before we get a sight of Gaelic football. That day, the winners of Fermanagh and Donegal meet whoever comes out of Tyrone, Derry and Antrim in an Ulster semi-final.

And after that, it's only the Ulster final. Two games out of a Championship of eight. BBC NI have not announced exactly what they will be screening, but it is understood that they will only feature live what RTÉ have. The restructuring of the All-Ireland Hurling Championship has shown us that the only thing better than Championship hurling in Munster and Leinster, was more hurling in those provinces.

Given the action that happened last summer, if a repeat is on the cards it would be virtually impossible to change back to the old format after the three-year trial period ends.

Belfast Telegraph


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