Club fixture crisis looms in Tyrone after draws

A CLUB fixtures crisis in Tyrone has intensified as a result of Sunday’s drawn Ulster Championship games at Clones.

A three-day programme of championship ties due to be played this weekend have had to be postponed due to Saturday’s replays at Casement Park.

Errigal Ciaran were due to begin the defence of their Tyrone and Ulster titles in a clash with Coalisland on Friday, one of eight preliminary round SFC ties fixed for the weekend.

The games will now be played a week later at the same venues.

Meanwhile, the county’s Games Administration is to hold a special meeting this week to investigate a rash of unplayed league games.

Division 1A leaders Errigal Ciaran and second placed Ardboe are at the centre of a major controversy after failing to turn up for ties.

Both clubs, as well as Cookstown, Moy and Moortown in Division 1B, are angry at being forced to field without their county players.

Errigal Ciaran, the defending league champions, have seven players in the Tyrone squad, while four Ardboe players are members of the county panel. Moy have three Tyrone squad members, and Cookstown and Moortown have one each.

Clubs who failed to play their scheduled games could lose the points, and while disqualification from the league is also an option, this is unlikely.

GAC chairman Pat Darcy said the committee will follow official guidelines. “The games were official fixtures and we will deal with this in the same way as we deal with any team who fails to fulfil a fixture,” he said.

The clubs concerned are expected to press a strong case supporting their stance, but if the GAC stands firm and applies the rules, they will lose the points and have a €50 fine imposed.

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