Cork captain Seamus Harnedy and Kilkenny’s Conor Delaney are free to play their counties’ respective provincial championship round one games following a decision by the GAA’s Central Appeals Committee (CAC) in Croke Park last night.
The CAC upheld their appeals against the penalties arising from the League and applying to next month’s Munster and Leinster SHC openers.
Harnedy and Delaney had been informed their one-match bans for sendings off in the last round of Division 1A would carry forward to their Championship games against Tipperary and Kilkenny respectively.
The Central Competitions Control Committee adjudged they could not serve the suspensions in the “relegation play-off”, according to Rule 7.5 (c) of the GAA’s Official Guide it did not constitute a season game and therefore the penalty could not be served in it. Match bans linking the League and Championship have been in place since 2012.
In what was believed to be the counties taking action in their own hands, Harnedy and Delaney did not play in the subsequent play-off match in Nowlan Park on the Saturday following their red cards.
Harnedy had been dismissed against Tipperary for lashing out at James Barry having won a free, while Delaney was shown a red card for an incident involving Wexford’s Cathal Dunbar.
Cork at least accepted the one-match punishment proposed to Harnedy. However, both they and Kilkenny had argued as there was no demotion involved in the play-off - it only served as a means of establishing which Division group each team would join in 2020 - it was not a relegation play-off and therefore the suspension could be served at that point.
News of Harnedy’s fate will be a huge relief for John Meyler going into the clash with Tipperary in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on May 12, although Delaney recently picked up a foot injury and is in a battle to face Dublin in Nowlan Park on May 11.