There is so much to love, admire, and be proud of about the GAA and yet at times it is one of the most frustrating organisations to have anything to do with. Take the recent decision to fix the next round of senior, intermediate, and junior club games for the weekend of June 8/9 for example. This happens to be the opening weekend of the Leaving Cert exams and most if not all clubs have players or panellists involved in the State exams.
In Athlone we have at least four starters and two or three more very close to the starting team in Leaving Cert. Is it fair to expect them to give up the best part of the Saturday or Sunday to play The Downs (presumably in Mullingar) when really they should be studying? It is going to be difficult to concentrate on study if there is a championship game that evening. Even if you were blinkered enough to concentrate you will still be gone for four hours minimum.
Clann na nGael travel to Woodmount this weekend to take on Padraig Pearses in round two of the group matches. Clann have the huge advantage of having a game under their belts with an impressive 10-point win last weekend.
Both sides are down a number of regulars with the likes of Donie Shine and Cathal Shine unlikely to feature while David Murray and Padraig Corbett are ruled out for last year’s beaten finalists.