Saturday, September 13, 2014

Battle of the Sexes


I have already reached my quota of grumpy rants for this week (one) so what say we call the nature of this post more of a “polite observation”.

The scheduling of sporting events to suit everyone will never be an easy task. Unfortunately it can’t be all about convenience for the spectators...logistics of the ground, ease of travel for the players, other things happening in the area, plus at the higher levels, things like TV rights and police concerns, will all come into play.

So let’s just say I am well aware of all of the above.

What I want to point out is that it is a pity that today’s womens' interprovincial between Leinster and Munster kicks off in Ashbourne just over a half hour before the Leinster mens' Guinness Pro12 home opener at the RDS against the Scarlets.

No doubt there are legitimate reasons for the clash of fixtures; it just seems to be an opportunity wasted to take the public support gained from Ireland’s recent successes at the Women’s RWC and join it up with the considerable fan base for the Leinster mens' team. Perhaps a “double-header” at the RDS instead? Or play the women’s match at lunchtime on one of the many senior pitches nearby?

It goes without saying that I mean no offence to Ashbourne RFC...they have hosted several interpros and internationals over the years and one alternative would be to hold these matches there but on a different day (or night).

Also the 2:30pm kickoff times for the Ulster Bank League this weekend conflict with the proceedings in Ballsbridge; all five matches in the first round of Division 1A were scheduled to be played in Dublin yet only UCD v St Mary's switched to the Friday.

Once more, I'm fully aware of the travelling concerns but it is still a shame.  Perhaps with Munster playing in Treviso their clubs could have been the home sides this weekend?  It can't always be done I know, but surely it's doable more often than not.

Not everyone has the time to go to every single match, but all I am saying that it is unfortunate that a bit of creative planning can’t be done to at least give us the chance.

Best of luck to Leinster Women today, and also to the Irish Under 18s taking part in the European 7s Championships in Sweden. JLP

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