Bizarre war of words breaks out in Westmeath hurling

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By Kevin Murphy

Minor hurling in Westmeath has become the focus of a fractious dispute between the County Board and team manager Johnny Greville.

Westmeath County Board has issued a statement to clarify its position regarding the county minor’s participation in the All-Ireland Hurling Minor B Championship.

Westmeath lost to Dublin in the Leinster semi-final.

Team manager Johnny Greville took to social media yesterday, and claimed the reason behind the withdrawal was due to a lack of jerseys.

Westmeath GAA Board yesterday evening denied this, and in a statement said they did not enter the ‘B’ Championship because they believed they should concentrate on playing only at the highest level.

The statement read: “The base for progress is through the highest grade of championship proper.

“To that extent, Westmeath GAA did not enter a Minor team in this years B Championship and this matter was discussed thoroughly through County Management Committee and the decision communicated accordingly.

“Hence the question of us pulling out of a Championship that we did not enter is disingenuous and we are very disappointed with the manner in which this has arisen in the media through twitter today.

The statement also confirmed that a set of jerseys went missing after their Leinster semi-final, which the board described as ‘unacceptable.’

The statement goes on to say it was ‘very pleased’ with the progress of the team under the management of Johnny Greville.

Westmeath enjoyed a significant victory over Wexford in a quarter-final clash before losing out to Dublin back in June.

That is not an end to the matter, as Greville issued a counter-statement within hours of the County Board statement, saying: “At no point was it ‘communicated accordingly’ to me that we were not competing in the All Ireland Minor B Championship.

The dispute has garnered huge attention on social media.