Tipperary County Board greatly regrets any inconvenience caused to supporters by the decision to call off tonight’s rescheduled Allianz GAA National Hurling League fixture between Tipperary and Kilkenny. We recognise that many people had either travelled to Thurles or were on their way when the game was called off and very much regret that these genuine supporters travelled in vain for this fixture, many of them for the second time in four days.
The decision to call off the game was made at 7.25pm by the referee in the interests of player safety which is of paramount importance to us all. The game will be re-scheduled by the GAA Competitions Control Committee.
Semple Stadium is recognised as one of the best playing pitches in Ireland and the ground staff had worked tirelessly, as ever, to ensure the pitch was in great condition. The pitch was inspected on an hourly basis from 11am and was playable at all times throughout the day. The weather forecast, and updates to it, were monitored but did not indicate any prolonged snowfalls or frost for the Thurles area.
However, concern about the threat to the game only arose after 6.30pm when snow began to fall heavily on the pitch, which was inspected at 7pm and again at 7.20pm. At 7.25pm the referee decided that the pitch was unplayable and that the game should be postponed on health and safety grounds. Both teams and supporters were immediately informed. All relevant local and national media were also contacted and bulletins were immediately put out on radio to alert people still on the way to the game of the postponement.
It would have been far more preferable if it had been possible to announce the postponement earlier so as to avoid inconvenience to supporters of both counties travelling to the match. Unfortunately, weather conditions deteriorated late on and the decision could not have been taken any sooner. Once again we very much regret this inconvenience to supporters but we respect and accept any decision taken by the referee that is in the best interests of player safety.