Friday, March 5, 2010

Brendan's through as Campbellians forfeit

St Brendan's/Phoenix Park have made it through to their first national final as a joint club in controversial fashion after Campbellians pulled out of tomorrow's Irish Hockey Challenge semi-final tie.

The reigning champions refused to play on the grass in the Phoenix Park and, after a couple of days of negotiations, formally pulled out of the fixture late this afternoon.

The rules of the Irish Hockey Challenge do not stipulate that an astroturf pitch must be used though Brendan's did play in the second round of the competition at the recently laid sand-dressed pitch in Dardistown in round two of the competition.


Explaining their reasoning in a statement released last night, the club said: "Whilst our position remains that Senior Hockey in the 21st Century should ideally always be played on a synthetic surface, the Campbellians club fully supports the fundamental spirit of IHA Competition Rule 9.5.1 (not to exclude from the national Challenge competitions those clubs who regularly play their home fixtures on a shale surface).

"It is however our contention that a Grass pitch can in no conceivable manner ever be construed as a “regular” home surface in this day and age.

"Consequently, the fundamental spirit of Rule 9.5.1 has clearly been cynically abandoned."

The club also cited that their players would need to buy studded boots specifically for the fixture, something they felt was too great a cost to bear for a "one-off" fixture.

It means Brendan's will contest their first national final since 1974 when they fell 4-0 to Lisnagarvey II while Phoenix Park's former guise, Lorraine claimed the Junior Cup back in 1971 when they beat Cork C of I II, 2-0. They await Larne or Limerick in the final, to be played on March 20.

* Picture courtesy of Kevin Gallagher.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

what a joke. Even though the rules never stated it that is a disgrace. Brendans sort yourselves out!

Offer a refix on proper pitch! Hockey is going forward, not stuck in a time warp!

DISGRACEFUL

Interested Bystander said...

It's a bit of a joke to be honest in this century that teams are playing on grass.

Isn't there a rule somewhere that all senior hockey must be played on astroturf regardless of whether the competition has no specific rule, surely an organisations rule should cover all competitions? Maybe this only applies to Ulster Hockey?

Anonymous said...

If you train all the time on an astro all the time it would be very hard to play a match on a grass pitch.
I think they should have played though as you should never give in to people who manipulate the rules.
If Cambellians have a lot of players on their team that have never played on grass it would have been foolish for them to play as any injuries incurred could have resulted in claims against the club for neglecting due care and attention.
But why the rules did not make it clear about the playing surface we will never know

Anonymous said...

That is a complete joke! Nobody plays on grass anymore. it gives brendans a ridiculous advantage! Something needs to be done!

Anonymous said...

In the words of Didier Drogba, ITS A DISGRACE!

Anonymous said...

agree with campbellians - what's the point in playing competitive hockey on grass in this day and age? ditto grit pitches...especially for schools hockey.

Anonymous said...

No one else think playing on grass is a bit extreme!? this is the 21st century after all, and st brendans have played every home fixture this year on astro! a bit farcical in this day and age!

Anonymous said...

Campbellians were dead right as well.
SBPP playing on grass is far too big of a home field advantage as they play on it every week.

The fact they're even allowed play hockey on the grass still is a joke in this day and age.

Anonymous said...

I cant believe the comments here.Grass/glass/astro/rocks.It's the SEMI-FINALS of a NATIONAL CUP!Sort out your attitude and get on with it.Do you realise how pathetic you all sound??!I agree,all matches in this day and age should be played on Astro.But if you dont have an astro, get on with it on whatever surface that may be!Can i also add that a grass surface is 100 times better than any shale surface!At least play the game and then you can make your excuses if you lose.Shame on you Campbellians.Laughable.

Anonymous said...

Comparing Brendan's Home record to Away record in any season is all one needs to do to see that playing on grass yields them a sizeable advantage. With so many other pitches available in the vicinity, insisting that they play on a surface compatible with the modern game surely could not be qualified as exclusion.

Anonymous said...

All these Comments are foolish....their was a time when SHale(grit) pitches were the highlight of any hockey club and if you had a grass pitch your club just didn't have enough cash for a shale pitch. Now with astro turf providing such a more beautiful game of hockey people will only go down to Shale and not grass. Everybody no matter what level you play at should play at least one game on grass. If rules were put in to state that only astroturf pitches were allowed for the IHC then where would, Saintfield, Ballynahinch, PSNI, and Portrush play? they all have shale pitches. I don't think Brendans are of any wrong doing but if the IHA want a fair play competition it should incorporate a rule that states: Each Team in the Competition shall designate one pitch only for their Home Matches. The fact that Brendans did play one game already on Dardistown is very controvercial and this rule would make sure that such an event never happened again

Anonymous said...

Shambolic. Brendans should be thrown out. The IHA and the Leinster Branch need to do something about this. Grass Hockey is Dead!

Brendans get your act together and compete fairly
Fair play to Campbellians. Making a stand

Absolute disgrace if you ask me

Anonymous said...

the last comment is rubbish , portrush play every home game at ballycastle astro, psni play every home game at jordanstown university and ballynahinch play every home game at donard park in newcastle, get ur facts right before you make comments like that my friend , you are right however with saintfield which is the only club in Ulster which plays its regular home games on shale .. In saying that shale is still used throughout hockey and although not ideal can be lived with grass however hasnt been used for the past 20 years AND IS NOT GOOD enough for a senior tournament in the modern era!!!

Anonymous said...

Complete joke and very weak response from the IHA - no way the semi final of a national competition should be played on a grass surface in this day and age.

Campbellians are the current holders of this trophy and were clear favorites to retain it this year. I can understand their decision in the face of the lack of support from the IHA in this case. If Brendans are so keen on this pitch how come they haven't played a single game on it this season? Clear attempt to try to drag a better team down to a lower level of play and one that should have been ruled out by the IHA immediately. Does no favours for the image of hockey in the media.

Anonymous said...

" any injuries incurred could have resulted in claims against the club for neglecting due care and attention" @8.55pm

Straight from the legal school of Judge Judy, really what nonsense.

Brendans/pp have always played on grass when the can, If they feel it gives them an advantage, then they are entitled to use it - similar to teams playing 11 men behind the ball when playing Pemb/Glens.

Cambellians should have just played, better players will always come to the fore no matter if they are playing on astro, shale or grass.

A well kept grass pitch can be better than some of the so called astro pitches that are out there now.

Fact also - Indian Players play alot of their games on grass - they seem to do pretty well at international level despite this.

C

Anonymous said...

Unless you have played on the hockey pitch in the phoenix park or in grange gorman then you should keep your comments about grass pitches to yourself, as both are maintained extremely well and are better than any so called shale surface on this island Fact! its a disgrace that they didnt even come down and have a go,imagine if they had won the match they would have been legends in the club for years!

Anonymous said...

I had to check the date - was not too sure if it was aprils fools day!!

Anonymous said...

It is totally ridiculous that they still play on that grass pitch. We(Navan 2nds) recently played them on the grass and lost 6-0, in a season we'd been doing quite well in. Two weeks later we played more or less the same Brendans team in the cup on the sandbased at KH and reversed the scoreline. That messing about with grass pitches is unacceptable, it doesn't even count as hockey anymore, I'm sure it did in the 30's but not anymore. Brendans would want to get their act together, it's a joke.

S.Quinn - NHC

Anonymous said...

'Unless you have played on the hockey pitch in the phoenix park or in grange gorman then you should keep your comments about grass pitches to yourself, as both are maintained extremely well and are better than any so called shale surface on this island Fact! its a disgrace that they didnt even come down and have a go,imagine if they had won the match they would have been legends in the club for years!'

It doesnt matter if it was as smooth as a baby's bum!

The point is, it is a National tournament! Suggesting the match be played on grass is a joke!

Any club in the country would be irked at being asked to play this game on grass.

Every club should aspire to play on Astro- where possible. I wonder why this game was suggested on grass when they already played previous rounds on Astro. If the pitch in Phoenix park is so brilliant why didnt they play previous rounds there?

Anonymous said...

it all over now we wonted to play them and they did not wont to it must not mean that much to them so there

Anonymous said...

Sorry being in the legal field I would have not let my children play on a grass pitch as they never have done so. Due care and attention would mean that if Cambellians would be liable so they had to pull out.
One broken finger or limb would have finacially broken the club. Plus the following years insurance for hockey clubs would be out of thes world.

IHA have no back bone

Anonymous said...

Had a look on Ulster hockey review and it has the full article if interested.

http://ulsterhockeyreview.blogspot.com/2010/03/farce_05.html

the red cards shown to brendans last week may have had somethng to do with the choice of pitch! abusing a loop hole it would seem

Anonymous said...

'it all over now we wonted to play them and they did not wont to it must not mean that much to them so there'

What?

marty keane said...

every one off u should wake up and smell the grass not only was a good grass pitch good to play on, if you look at the retirement age off international players leaving the game so early due to knee and ankle problems they should return to grass so stop whinging Cambellians.

Anonymous said...

When Naas played leinster senior cup ties on shale about 10 years ago both TRR and YMCA played the games and took their beatings like men Cambellians didnt fancy it and made their excuses in advance.

Anonymous said...

yes, but the surface in question here is grass!!! and as you said that was 10 years ago! i think Campbellians would have travelled to play on shale seeing as theyve to play a regular shale game ever season away to saintfield. i honestly believe theyd have beaten brendans on the grss any way... seems the withdrawl is more down to a matter of pricipal

Anonymous said...

Maybe the would have won on the grass,they obviously didn fancy themselves as much as you do as they didn even try.As has been mentioned by campbellians is that this was a 1 off fixture and they had not played on the surface before,so i reckon they probably knew they might get a bit of a beating on the surface,as the brendans lads have played from a young age on the grass so they just bottled it.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter what surface brendan's are asked to play on e.g. Shale. Brendan's would still go out and play and not wine and moan about it. 21 st century 21st century. Grass is our home pitch and we're fully within our rights to play on it.

Anonymous said...

'Maybe the would have won on the grass,they obviously didn fancy themselves as much as you do as they didn even try.As has been mentioned by campbellians is that this was a 1 off fixture and they had not played on the surface before,so i reckon they probably knew they might get a bit of a beating on the surface,as the brendans lads have played from a young age on the grass so they just bottled it.'

On the flip side, maybe Brendans realised they would get a beating on Astro, so arranged the game on Grass. So maybe they bottled it!

Anonymous said...

Wow, grass pitches still exist and in use!!
I completely understand if clubs don't have the funds to upgrade their pitch to astro, playing on that surface throughout the season warrantes playing on that surface. However, here's a strange rule which the IHA should have picked up on by now. In the Leinster Ladies branch all "cup semi-final matches are required to be played on astro pitches" and that applies right through from Div 1 - 14 so it beggars belief that that this paricular cup is required to be played on grass which (I could be wrong!) is before Shale pitches time! Clubs that do not have astro surfaces are required to source an astro pitch for semi-finals when given the home advantage. Amazing the IHA haven't got something similiar in their rulebook such as this.

Anonymous said...

"the brendans lads have played from a young age on the grass so they just bottled it."

Imagine I asked you to play on a surface made of wood chip next week against a team playing on it all their lives in a semi-final.

I don't think you'd be interested in playing either.

The fact that Brendans are even allowed play on the grass anymore is a farce.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that a hockey match could not be played because it was going to be on grass. There is no need for ''studded footwear'' and normal astros would have been fine.

At the end of the day, its only a game and playing on grass is great craic.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that such a loophole is available to clubs entering Irish Cup competition. Only joking, it is the IHA after all. I played hockey in the days of grass pitches and you cannot play safely with runners. Football boots are the only safe footwear on grass.

Anonymous said...

Think what a great atmosphere there would have been at the game this weekend, Sunshine all around and in Phoenix park on a fairly good grass pitch.
Unfortunately since the arrival of Astro there are so many hockey players out there without the required range of skills to play on any surface. Young players can't hit the ball these days which is a skill required on grass. I have seen players playing in the IHL that can't hit a ball to save there lives.
Pity the away team were scared to test there skill levels.

Anonymous said...

'ink what a great atmosphere there would have been at the game this weekend, Sunshine all around and in Phoenix park on a fairly good grass pitch.
Unfortunately since the arrival of Astro there are so many hockey players out there without the required range of skills to play on any surface. Young players can't hit the ball these days which is a skill required on grass. I have seen players playing in the IHL that can't hit a ball to save there lives.
Pity the away team were scared to test there skill levels.'

Would the people commenting on how great grass hockey is and how bad Campellians are at not playing please get real!

Grass hockey is dead and buried. So is Shale Hockey. Astro is the game in this day and age.

It is a national trophy- therefore not for grass or shale!

Brendans, you pulled a fast one. You used the fact that for whatever reason the IHA forgot to include that rule for this trophy (admin error I assume)to your advantage. Very cunning, although hardly sporting.

Campbellians probably should have played anyway, I agree but what a farce

Anonymous said...

I don't believe it was a case of not being confident - Campbellians are a good hockey side and will be moving up a division this season to Senior 1. They are also the holders of the trophy and were favorites this year so to suggest it didn't mean much to them is probably a bit facetious. As for the player availability issue which someone brought up earlier, Brendans lost two of their best players to redcards in the quarter final therefore they had more issues with this than Campbellians.

The issue of safety has been ridiculed in an earlier post but it is a factor. If Campbellians had appeared to play on the grass obviously without boots (how many hockey players own a pair these days?) and a player had been injured the ramifications are serious for the club.

To be honest, the IHA had it in their power to resolve the issue by making a decision that playing on grass was not in the spirit of the competition rules and they simply abandoned their responsibility and fudged the response as they usually do. The whole point of introducing the Irish Hockey Trophy and Challenge was to allow senior teams to progress and develop by playing against teams from the other provinces at their level (broadly speaking) without getting an absolute thrashing when they came up against the big guns in the senior cup. To suggest that playing the semi final of one of these competitions on grass is contrary to those principles of progression and improvement.

Ultimately a strong response from the IHA (stating that whilst the exact wording of the rule did not exclude a grass surface, the spirit of the competition would not be served by the use of the pitch) would have resolved the issue.

Anonymous said...

@March 6, 2010 7:35 PM - Legal Person

Firstly - Grass Pitches are not outlawed, so a team can play on them.

Also we are not talking about children playing hockey on the grass - I am assuming that Campbellians are an adult team. We all take risks when playing any sport, Playing on Grass is no more dangerous than playing on astro or shale. Broken fingers happen on any surface and at every level -

Yes - boots should be worn, but some of the astro shoes are just as good - But it is the players responsibility as an adult to wear appropriate footwear. I would also suggest that alot of that team would have had boots from playing, soccer & rugby. You can also buy a cheap per of boots for €20.

Suggesting Campbellians would go broke, if they played on grass is laughable

As someone who has played down in the pheonix park, grange gorman & north down - over the years - Yes i hated it and so did my team - But hey - you just get on with it and play. And maybe you might come away with a draw or even a win.

I would suggest that it was the opposition and not the Pitch that caused Campbellians to think twice about playing. As someone suggested above red cards recently may have had something todo with it.

C

Anonymous said...

Grass pitches are allowed - so where is the problem - game should have been played

We all hate playing on grass, We all hate playing on shale, Teams hate playing glenanne & Pembroke - because they know it will be a tough match - Arsenal hate playing stoke, because they get tackled.

I have read comments on this forum - stating that they hate the Astro in Fingal - whats next teams refusing to play them - what then - Teams refusing to play on the back pitch in TRR because its too bouncy & not as smooth as the front pitch

Until Grass pitches are banned then Brendan/pp are allowed to play there -

Shay

Anonymous said...

having played on both grass an astro-turf never mind grit pitches i agree that yes of course astro allows for a quicker an better quality of hockey,but some of the excuses being thrown around by people are ridiculous, 1 for a small club the cost of renting astro turf pitches is a major burden,an the excuse of having to buy boots is a bit of a stretch. 2 anybody who can hit an stop a ball (ie. the fundamentals of the game can play grass hockey. the idea that grass is dangerous is misconceived when week in week out players are seriously injured due to poorly relayed astro pitches.
3.hockey is already a minority sport even more so on the north side of dublin, adding more hurdles will just futher thhe decline of the sport. an in sure any extra revenue brought into a small club like brendans from fans watching the game an having a drink in their club house could only help in their efforts to improve the club!

finally as a player i would relish any chance to play in a final like that cup an would play on the street if i had to,an personally think its a poor show of character from Cambellians to forfit.an should have got a bus had a trip to the phoenix park an had a few pints in the sun if notting else! ;)

bren

Anonymous said...

having played on both grass an astro-turf never mind grit pitches i agree that yes of course astro allows for a quicker an better quality of hockey,but some of the excuses being thrown around by people are ridiculous, 1 for a small club the cost of renting astro turf pitches is a major burden,an the excuse of having to buy boots is a bit of a stretch. 2 anybody who can hit an stop a ball (ie. the fundamentals of the game can play grass hockey. the idea that grass is dangerous is misconceived when week in week out players are seriously injured due to poorly relayed astro pitches.
3.hockey is already a minority sport even more so on the north side of dublin, adding more hurdles will just futher thhe decline of the sport. an in sure any extra revenue brought into a small club like brendans from fans watching the game an having a drink in their club house could only help in their efforts to improve the club!

finally as a player i would relish any chance to play in a final like that cup an would play on the street if i had to,an personally think its a poor show of character from Cambellians to forfit.an should have got a bus had a trip to the phoenix park an had a few pints in the sun if notting else! ;)

bren

Anonymous said...

This is why Irish Hockey is in the state it is, when we would even consider letting our young players play on a surface that went out with the dinosaurs! You wouldn't see a grass pitch in Holland or Germany no matter at any level. The IHA needs to get a back bone and stop pussy footing behind archaic rules!!!

Anonymous said...

cambellions favourites......?

limerick

played :3
won :3
goals for :11
against :2

cambellions were obviously scared of who was going to be waiting for them in the final.....

Anonymous said...

8.41pm - having played on several tours to holland, mainly as an under16, i think you'll find that Dutch people constantly play on grass! was over at HOD and they had two astros and about five grass pitches in use for a great tournament,.

Anonymous said...

I cant believe the amount of people who are buying into that terrible excuse from the Cambellians. As someone who has played against brendans and navan for the last 5 years I have played both grit and grass. I hate it as much as the next guy but you dont forfeit every game saying you might get injured. Do teams not travel to the grass and grit week in week out? Yes it gives brendans a ridiculous advantage as a quick look at the difference home and away for will show but the campbellians were drawn away from home and should deal with what ever comes! Also that they couldnt afford a cheap pair of boots? laughable at best. how does a new astro compare to a pair of boots?
Having said all that I agree with an earlier comment that semis and finals should be on astro as it is a fair surface but I guarantee all the whingers out there are top div players. Get over yourselves. There are 8 divisions in leinster, not just the top 2.

Trinity Player

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with @11:27, i played in Munich for a year when working out there. Played for a club that had one Astro & Three grass pitches, Played alot of games on grass that year, from what i seen, they prefer the grass - Also played with and against guys who could display the same quality whether on Astro or Grass - Good players with good basics can play anywhere

I think that alot of comments on here are from guys under 20 who unfortunately have never experienced a game on a quality grass pitch - which is a pity as i think they would really enjoy it.

As for Campbellians - they really should have just played, bought cheap boots for the lads who didnt have any - and got on with it - you never know they might have actually won !

FM

kebris said...

Some people have short (or selective) memories. A few years ago, it may have been ... but when shale was all the rage, we (from way down south) were drawn to play 'Garvey in the Irish Junior Cup.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, played on shale then ... except 'Garvey, who still had their old (excellant) grass pitch.
I don't remember anyone else at the time saying that was unfair, or throwing their toys out of the pram just because it was grass; and 'Garvey were a top side even then - grass or shale!

Anonymous said...

Think Cambellians will be looking back in a few years and regretting their decision, possibility of the club reaching 2 irish cup finals in 2 years would have been a remarkable feat. They had the same chance of getting there as brendan's, after all its a one-off match! it should be a very good final regardless with Limerick on a serious roll at the moment. See they have 4 players from the team on the Munster Junior Interpro team.....

Anonymous said...

What about campbellians with 6 players on the ulster junior interpro team, one of which being the captain.

Brendan said...

fair play to Brendans even playing on grass a lot they still have leinster junior interpro in their ranks so grass cant be to damaging to player development!!