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Thursday 23 November 2017

O'Byrne call-off hits fixture list

LEINSTER GAA chiefs have been left with a potentially costly fixtures headache after the weather gods rained on their O'Byrne Cup final parade.

The Kildare/DCU decider was a victim of the near-constant deluge that fell on Saturday night/Sunday morning, leaving a waterlogged pitch at St Conleth's Park and no obvious alternative date for a game which could raise up to €40,000 for Leinster's injured players fund.

Kildare were asked if the game could be rearranged for this evening in either Portlaoise or Parnell Park (due to the lack of floodlights in Newbridge) but this was not suitable for the Lilywhites.

The problem now is finding an alternative date, as Kildare open their NFL Division Two campaign against Tyrone next Saturday evening while DCU are on Sigerson Cup duty against Cork IT the following Tuesday.

One possibility is the weekend of February 18-19 -- when there is no NFL action and coming a week before the Sigerson finals weekend -- although there is a potential complication with the Interprovincial SF semi-finals on that Sunday.

Leinster chairman Martin Skelly said: "Kildare's league and DCU's Sigerson Cup commitments make the choices available extremely limited. We'll meet and discuss it."

On the pitch, the O'Byrne Shield final went ahead yesterday as Laois won 1-15 to 1-6 over Wexford.

The visitors -- who defended superbly, led by Kieran Lillis at full-back -- controlled matters from Paul Cahillane's third-minute goal until the final whistle, and it wasn't until the 68th minute before a Wexford player other than Ben Brosnan pointed from play.

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