John Martin says that the timing of this year’s Ulster Hurling Championship is unfortunate but it is the only option.
The Ulster Senior Hurling Championship throws in this weekend, a lot earlier than it used be, but as Martin points out with so many other competitions which players and managers prioritise this is the least worst option.
He says: “The change of schedule means that the finalist of the championship and Ulster shield will be playing four weeks of championshp hurling in a row.
“But this is an occasion on which the Ulster GAA can’t really be criticised .
“Something had to be done.
“Last year there was a failure to field in the relegation play off (by Derry) and the shield semi-final (by Tyrone).
“The crowds at the games were pathetic. Scores more northern hurling supporters trekked south for the Munster final than went to Owenbeg for the Ulster decider.”
He goes on to explain why the Ulster Championship remains important, and how the players are keen for it to be as relevant as it once was.
Read the full column in the current issue of Gaelic Life. Click here to buy the digital edition.