By Damian Dolan.
Warwickshire’s place in the next month’s Lory Meagher Cup was confirmed last week when Leitrim gifted the Exiles a walkover, thus denying them the chance to clinch their place at Croke Park on the field.
It was an anticlimactic end to the Exiles’ championship round robin campaign, which had seen them take pole position with victory over Longford and a draw away to Fermanagh. Having beaten Leitrim 5-18 to 1-16 in the league less than two months ago, Warwickshire were firm favourites to finish the job at Paric na hEireann last Saturday afternoon.
Their thunder was stolen from them, however, by the decision of the Leitrim County Board and its hurlers to pull out of the game, with manager Martin Cunniffe stating that the game was “of no benefit to us, we are already out of the running.”
Cunniffe added: “It was going to cost the guts of €15,000 for us to travel over. We all felt that money would be much better spent developing hurling here locally.”
However, Leitrim would have received a travel grant of €10,000 from Croke Park to make the trip to Birmingham, while the fixtures for the Lory Meagher were drawn up as long ago as October of last year. Therefore giving ample time to prepare and budget for any costs in excess of the grant.
For more see this week’s edition of the Irish World