Over the last month or so, attention in the GAA world has turned from the county final scene to the provincial championships, however, for two counties, local deciders are only being played this weekend.
For various reasons, the Waterford SFC and Galway SHC finals are taking place this Sunday, the first weekend of December.
Despite there being six county senior hurling finals on the first weekend of October, Galway’s final is only taking place this weekend as Liam Mellows prepare to do battle with Gort at Pearse Stadium.
The winner of the Galway Championship goes straight into the All-Ireland series so the Tribesmen aren’t in as much of a rush as other counties to finish their competition.
On top of that, an eligibility controversy held up the progress of the championship also.
This centred around Turloughmore using a US-bound player in their win over Portumna. The player in question had already completed his transfer so Turloughmore’s win over Portumna, where the player in question featured, was declared null and void.
However, despite all that, Mellows and Gort can now face off knowing that a spot in the All-Ireland semi-final against the Leinster champions is up for grabs for whoever progresses on Sunday.
Also, this weekend sees the Waterford SFC final taking place. The Nire take on Stradbally in the decider in a competition which was put on hold for a number of months. All club activity was effectively ground to a halt as Waterford reached the All-Ireland hurling final.
Then, in a bid to let the Déise hurling kingpins play in the provincial championship, the small ball took centre stage for six consecutive weekends as the footballers were left on the sidelines.
This decision led to Waterford giving a walk-over in the Munster Club Football Championship.
The Waterford SFC has run late before – just two years ago, Stradbally had to play in the Munster Championship 24 hours after playing a county final.
Last year, there was no Waterford representation in the Munster intermediate football championship as the competition was not run on time.
While you can criticise the boardroom squabble which led to the delay in the Galway SHC, this delay in the Déise is something that is popping up all too frequently.
The Nire and Stradbally have won 14 of the 17 Waterford SFCs since the turn of the Millenium, dominating the competition. It is unfortunate that this situation has spoiled the build-up to what should be a cracking game.
Barring draws, Sunday will draw the curtain on the county final season as the last of the deciders take place and focus will turn on the All-Ireland club championships which will conclude in the new year.
Joel Slattery, Pundit Arena
Check out the latest episode of The 16th Man where we spoke with Aidan O’Shea.
Read More About: county finals, gaa news, gaelic football news, galway gaa, galway shc, gawlic football, gort, Hurling, liam mellows, stradbally, the nire, waterford gaa, waterford sfc