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Ticket demand exceeds supply

THE frenzied demand from Dublin for tickets for Sunday's All-Ireland SFC semi-final is pushing the fixture towards a sell out - the first Croke Park full house of the season.

Clubs in Dublin will collected their allocations today and county board chairman, Gerry Harrington, revealed that such is the demand, they are certain to seek further supplies.

"The demand far exceeds the supply at this point in the week," Harrington told the Evening Herald.

Dublin's initial share of tickets have already been snapped up and Harrington said that the county board would now request fresh stocks from Croke Park or other county boards who have received an allocation.

"I would say that that would be the case but whether we could get them would be another story. Certainly our demand far exceeds our supply," he confirmed.

General sale tickets are still available, however, with a limited number of upper Davin Stand tickets remaining on Ticketmaster's website. Cork have still a considerable supply and the Rebel County Board have been selling from the county board offices this week as they gauge interest.

If the need in the capital continues until late in the week, Dublin could be given the 'returns' from other counties to alleviate the pressure. There had been cautious predictions of a sell-out prior to the All-Ireland quarter-final clash with Tyrone - double header with Down and Kerry - though just 62,749 pushed their way through the turnstiles.

"It has been a difficult one for all our supporters for a number of different reasons," said Harrington. "Now we find ourselves in a semi-final, which is fantastic. And the buzz around the county is terrific. A lot of people were expecting Tyrone to win that match and Tyrone went in as favourites."

Meanwhile, the GAA has intimated that there could be a review of the decision to place meshing on the first three rows of seating around Croke Park because of the massive ticket clamour this week.

The first three rows have been ruled out of commission -- as a security measure - since the pitch invasion by furious Louth fans at the end of last month's Leinster SFC final. This hasn't caused any ticketing issue because none of the subsequent games have even approached a full house, but that situation could change this weekend.

A GAA spokesperson said that while the interest from Dublin is now "back on a par" with the previous five years and they expect to go close to capacity, there is still "no way near the demand" you would get for an All-Ireland final.

With the first three rows of seating excluded, there maybe close to 2,000 less tickets on the market; so in theory at least, with semi-final tickets priced at €45, that could mean a financial hit of around €90,000. "If demand becomes unprecedented, a review could be taken," the spokesperson explained. "At this stage we have no reason to think there will be any requirement for any such review, but we look at the ticketing situation on a daily basis."

DUBLIN'S under 21 hurlers take on Galway this Saturday in Tullamore at 6.0 in the All-Ireland semi-final with Tipperary playing Antrim in the curtain raiser at 4.0.