Weather claims London fixture

For the second time in four years, Leitrim’s Allianz League Division 4 clash with London in Ruislip fell victim to the weather after torrential rain over the weekend in the English capital forced the postponement of the game.

For the second time in four years, Leitrim’s Allianz League Division 4 clash with London in Ruislip fell victim to the weather after torrential rain over the weekend in the English capital forced the postponement of the game.

For the second time in four years, Leitrim’s Allianz League Division 4 clash with London in Ruislip fell victim to the weather after torrential rain over the weekend in the English capital forced the postponement of the game.

by P.J. Leddy & John Connolly

When Louth referee Paul Kneel carried out an inspection of the Emerald Grounds in Ruislip after 9.30am on Sunday morning, the match official made a decision to call off the London v Leitrim game a matter of minutes later, a decision backed completely by Leitrim and London officials.

A considerable area of the Ruislip pitch was waterlogged (as shown in the photogragh below) and while there were no major puddles of water visible on the field where areas of water logging occurred, conditions was not acceptable for the game to go ahead.

And despite calls from supporters to have the game re-fixed for a neutral venue in Ireland, Leitrim GAA County Board Secretary Diarmuid Sweeney conceded that Leitrim would have to travel again to London in the event of a refixture being necessary.

“We just have to go back,” Diarmuid told the Observer on Tuesday morning, “We lost that case four years ago so we are looking at going back. Under GAA rules, if a game is called off by a referee due a pitch being unplayable, it is a refixture and London keep home venue.

“In fairness, Croke Park give a grant to all teams travelling to London for League games and we would be hoping for the same for the refixture.”

However, the issue of a refixture may not be completely straight-forward - Leitrim officials have already asked Croke Park to fix the refixed game for after the conclusion of the competition but if Leitrim are chasing a promotion spot, it is likely that Croke Park would move the entire final round of fixtures a week back and play the London game on April 10, as happened four years ago when Leitrim were still involved in the promotion chase.

See this week’s Leitrim Observer for the full report.