13 April 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

John Graham reports
It has been claimed at various times over the years that hurling in Monaghan was in crisis but that took on a whole new meaning over the weekend when it emerged that due to the impasse that had been reached between the county management committee, the fixtures making body and the senior hurling team, that Monaghan would not be taking part in the division 3A final of the Allianz Hurling league against Fingal on Sunday.
The news that Monaghan would not be fielding in a national final could not have come at a worse time as it follows very closely on the heels of relegation to division 3 in the National Football League and adds to the atmosphere of disappointment that followed the result against Tyrone on Sunday last and relegation from division 1 to division 3 in the football league in successive seasons.
The crux of the matter would basically appear to be the age-old problem of club versus county and the question of accommodating the dual player. There are a number of, possibly eight or nine, dual players on the Monaghan senior hurling panel and those players were scheduled to take part in club football league fixtures, last night, Wednesday, April 11th, just four days before they were due to play in a National League Final.
A request from the team management was relayed to the Competitions Control Committee (CCC) regarding the postponement of the fixtures that were affected, but this was not forthcoming, a decision that initially prompted the resignation of team manager Mattie Lennon on Saturday last.
A series of meetings took place, meetings of the Management Committee of Monaghan County Board, of the CCC and the senior hurling panel in an effort to try and reach some accommodation but that proved impossible with the result that the players stated that they would not be available for the Allianz Hurling League division 3A final.
Following a meeting of the players over the weekend a number of points were raised with the Management Committee of Monaghan County Board seeking assurances on various things like the length of the break between club football matches and playing for the county senior hurlers in the league and particularly in the forthcoming Nicky Rackard Cup but no undertakings were forthcoming.
Following a further meeting of the Management Committee of Monaghan County Board a proposal was put to the players that an interim team management structure would be put in place that would take charge for the division 3A final but following the discussion of that proposals at a players meeting it was unanimously rejected and the players issued a statement through the GPA.
“The Monaghan Senior Hurling Squad will withdraw from Sunday’s Hurling League Division 3A final if a solution cannot be found regarding the Monaghan Co Board’s decision to fix a number of intermediate club football matches for Wednesday April 11, four days before the league final.

“The Co Board has also refused to give a guarantee to the County Hurling Squad that a four day preparation period before Nicky Rackard Cup games would be afforded to the Squad. The Rackard Cup commences on May 5 and ends with the final a month later on June 9.

“Manager Mattie Lennon has resigned on a point of principle over the failure to reschedule this week’s club football fixtures and the Monaghan squad are fully supportive of the manager.
 Seven clubs were …

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