Category: Archive

Antrim to stay home

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The controversy has been simmering since New York upended Derry 1-18 to 1-12 in the semifinal at Gaelic Park last month for their first-ever win in the Ulster Championship.
That set up a June 4 date with Antrim at Casement Park. New York immediately sought a postponement and then a change of venue because so many of the New York panel are saddled with visa problems. The Ulster Council refused New York’s initial bid for a delay, but the exiles remained hopeful that their appeal would be well-received and they proposed an August date in New York. Late last week New York GAA Chairman Seamus Dooley traveled to Ireland to meet with Ulster officials in hopes of brokering a deal.
Moloney told the Irish Echo that “we were under the impression on Saturday night that we had a chance to play the game.” That was after arduous negotiations with the Ulster Council, who then left the decision in the hands of the Antrim County Board. That board met, somewhat ironically, in Casement Park after Antrim’s minors crushed Derry 8-18 to 2-5 to win the Ulster title the old fashioned way, on the field of play.
Speaking to Echo on Monday morning Moloney held nothing back, accusing Antrim of “killing the game off in New York.”
“They had a glorious opportunity to promote their game and their championship in Ulster and New York, but they refused to play.”
Moloney had been looking forward to playing Antrim with just a game under his team’s belt. It would have been a unique chance for a New York side that has so far been “one and done” in the championship.
With the opportunity to analyze players that would be playing club matches as well as training with New York, Moloney was keen on his side’s chances, saying recently that “we’ll play well against Antrim, we’d love to get a run at them.”
Now it looks as if the only run Moloney will be getting at Antrim is in the press, and the Gotham manager was making the most of it.
“Antrim,” Maloney said, “want it all their own way. They want their own ref, the linesmen, the umpires, the venue, they even want the date.”
Looking back at the 2005 first round Ulster championship match that saw Antrim top New York in extra time after New York had four players shown the line, Moloney said “the ref let them sneak out if town with a win, and they don’t want to take a chance.”
Moloney emphasized that his quarrel was only with Antrim. “I’m not saying anything about Down and Derry,” Maloney cautioned. “But Antrim are supposed to be the big team up there.
“I guess they don’t have much confidence in their team,” the New York supremo added.
New York management have been keeping a low profile in recent weeks hoping that quiet diplomacy could turn things their way, through for Moloney, at least, the muzzle was now off.
“They call us a bunch of misfits,” Maloney told us. “Well you don’t have much respect for your provincial Championship when you’re afraid to defend it against a bunch of misfits.”
Moloney reported that the New York players were “down” and amplified his statement that this decision was killing the game.
“This championship has kept New York hurling going,” he explained. “It lifted the level of the club game in New York last year.
“Now there isn’t a level above for our top players.”
Antrim’s contention that the Ulster final cannot be played outside of Ulster failed to impress Moloney. “In 1947 the All Ireland was played here, and they played the Ulster football Final in Croke Park for financial reasons, so that’s just hogwash.”
The future of New York’s involvement in the Ulster final has been called into question repeatedly since they beat Derry. As far as Moloney is concerned it is now all but dead.
“What point is there in being in it now?” a clearly frustrated Moloney asked.

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