Club scene comes to a virtual halt
By Shane Brophy
The vast majority of local sport has been put on hold once again as the Level 3 Covid-19 restrictions imposed by the government came into force today (Wednesday) and will last for at least the next three weeks.
Level 3 restrictions mean that no club games will be permitted in GAA, camogie, ladies football, soccer and rugby, apart from the Munster Community Series, which has an exemption, where Nenagh Ormond’s home game against UL Bohemian can go ahead next Saturday in Lisatunny, but will be played behind closed doors.
Non-contact club training can still take place in groups of fifteen people, but there is an exemption for professional/elite/inter-county sports/senior club championship.
However with the GAA, Camogie and Ladies Football opting to halt their games with immediate effect following the celebratory scenes following finals in recent weeks, no senior club championship games, including the Munster Club Senior Camogie final involving Drom & Inch will be played for the foreseeable future.
No matches or other sporting events can take place, except for professional, elite, inter-county, and senior club championship, which can take place behind closed doors. Horse-racing may continue behind closed doors, while gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools may remain open for individual use only, and with protective measures in place.
The limits to the restrictions provide an optimistic tone that the return of inter-county action from October 17th can continue as scheduled, but without spectators being present.
The Tipperary senior footballers, as well as the minor & under 20 hurlers, are just over a week away from league and championship action respectively and continue their preparations now under the most intense scrutiny as any confirmed case of Covid-19 within a panel could have implications for the further progression of that team in the competition.
However, no cases of Covid-19 have been reported within any of the county teams since they resumed training three weeks ago.
““Everyone is very conscious of what they should be doing,” said Tipperary County Board chairman John Devane of the responsibility of inter-county players and mentors.
Responding to the suspension of all GAA games, he admitted it was the right decision as cases were rising, despite none being traced back to club matches themselves.
“It was around the games that was the problem rather than in games. There has been no case in Tipperary traced back to a match,” he said.
The suspension of games leaves Tipperary County Board will championships to complete in Junior ‘A’ & ‘B’ hurling & football, under 21 and minor football, and under 21 hurling that has yet to start.
“We are hoping the games will be played,” Devane said.
“We are heading into a winter season with weather conditions and flu and all those things. If there is a reduction in cases, we’ll get a chance to get our games completed but if this keeps escalating it will be further down the road before matches resume.
“At the moment clubs are questioning whether they should keep training or not.”