The Central Competition Controls Committee (CCCC) ordered the match take place in Newry after they accepted referee John O’Brien’s admission he had miscalculated Meath’s final score on Saturday as being one more point than Antrim’s total.
As a result of the new fixture, Meath have had to postpone the opening round of their senior hurling championship.
The CCCC’s decision was pre-empted by GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail on RTÉ Radio One yesterday morning. He said: “If the game ended in a draw, there is only one action they can take. That is not an option. It sounds nice at times and it’s lovely to be nice to everyone. I’m sure that’s what people’s reaction would be. However, we have to be fair and we have to be honest. The CCCC will consider the referee’s report and will take responsibility for this matter.
“They won’t hedge, duck or dive.” Speaking to the Meath Chronicle, Ennis hit out at Ó Fearghail for his comments.
“I’m very disappointed with the decision of the GAA’s CCC to order a replay of the Ring Cup final, effectively putting Antrim and ourselves against each other over a mistake that was of their making.
“We have no intention of paying the price for the mistake of the GAA. Asking us to replay a game we firmly believe we won last Saturday is very disappointing.
“I’m also very disappointed the GAA president made the comments he made this morning on RTÉ Radio. What was the point of having a CCCC meeting when it already appears as if the decision was already made?”
Ennis said he will canvass the opinions of his players but is of the mind not to fulfil the fixture. “This really is shambolic and a farce and it is far from over yet. As a management team, we are firmly against playing a replay to a game we already won,.”
A statement from the CCCC released yesterday read: “At a scheduled CCCC meeting this morning the issue of last weekend’s Christy Ring Cup final was discussed.
Following consideration of the referee’s report, it has been confirmed the final score was recorded incorrectly and that the game did finish in a draw, Antrim 1-20 Meath 2-17. The final will now be replayed on Saturday, June 11 at 7pm in Páirc Esler, Newry.”
Contacted by the Irish Examiner yesterday, referee O’Brien said he was not in a position to comment.