By Peter Nolan
The interrupted senior hurling match June 2 between Westmeath and Kilkenny was, as expected, the main topic at last Thursday evening’s NYGAA meeting at Gaelic Park.
For those who have been in a World Cup stupor, and may have missed out, a brief recap: With slightly more than 3 minutes remaining and Westmeath leading by 12 points, a scrap broke out between two players. Before order could be restored referee Dave Simms stormed off the pitch, leaving confusion in his wake.
Accusations flew in all directions, so on Thursday the case was to be made before the officials of the NYGAA. The first shot fired come in the form of a letter from the Kilkenny Hurling Club signed by club official and active hurler Jerome Edge. In the letter, Kilkenny stated that they had nothing to do with the ref’s decision and blame Westmeath for “bringing the game into disrepute.” The letter also lays claim to the two points, and call this a chance to put the foot down on referee abuse.
After some preliminaries, it was back to the main event, with the reading of the referee’s report. The essence of Dave Simms’s report was that he had taken excessive abuse from the Westmeath sideline and that this should not be tolerated if the NYGAA expect anyone to take on the job in the future.
The Westmeath delegation responded by laying the blame on Kilkenny’s doorstep for introducing “a thug” into the game and Dessie Costello declared that if Kilkenny get the points, “thuggery will prevail.”
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No decision was reached by the president, Monty Moloney, who instead called for a board of officers’ meeting. He said that he will have a decision next Thursday.
John Meehan, better known as Cookie, has been a powerhouse at midfield, propelling Leitrim to five New York Senior football titles. He was Leitrim’s guest of honor at this year’s annual dinner. Cookie and his family will return to Donegal to live after Leitrim’s next game.
Their will be no Ladies GAA last week. Action resumes Sunday, June 16, at Paddy’s field with Fermanagh playing Monaghan at 1 p.m., followed by Kerry vs. Mayo at 2:30, Donegal vs. Rockland at 3 and Na Fianna vs. Cavan at 5:30.
The New York Ladies GAA will hold their annual fund-raiser on June 23 at 9 p.m. at Rockin’ Robins on McLean Avenue in Yonkers. The Whole Shebang will be making their last New York-area appearance at the event.