Saffron chief fumes at ‘illogical’ choice of final venue

ANTRIM GAA chiefs have slammed the decision to stage next weekend’s NFL Division Four final in Longford.

Antrim are furious at the decision claiming they will have to travel twice the distance of their opponents Sligo.

Saffron chairman John McSparran said: “We would rather have tossed for the venue. If they think they’re going to get any more of a crowd to go at that time on a Saturday evening, I don’t know what they’re thinking is.

“Longford is 60 miles from Sligo and 120 miles from Belfast. It doesn’t make any sense. We’ve lodged an objection with the Central Competitions Control Committee. I suspect we’ll get a curt reply and it won’t be changed.

“It defies any logic. We expressed our view that if the Division 1 and 2 finals are played at Croke Park, then the other two should be there too. We would have accepted Parnell Park or Clones or even Omagh.”

Earlier this week Down manager Ross Carr slammed the decision to play his side’s Division Three decider against Tipperary as “scandalous”.

Meanwhile GAA Central Hearings Committee halved the fine imposed on Tipperary following a melee in their NHL tie with Galway on April 5.

Both counties were docked €5,000 for the bust-up which halted play in the first half at Pearse Stadium.

Though Tipperary GAA chiefs did not to appeal the four weeks ban incurred by Shane McGrath following the incident, they chose not to accept the penalty proposed by the Central Competitions Control Committee for ‘disruptive conduct by their players’ during the game. On reviewing the incident the CHC, imposed a fine of €2,500 and Tipp officials have the option to lodge an appeal to the Central Appeals Committee.

Elsewhere, Kildare’s Dermot Earley was cleared of ‘striking with the head’ in the Lilywhites game against Meath at Páirc Tailteann on April 12.

Earley was sent off to the annoyance of the player and management. CHC chiefs found that DVD evidence disclosed an infraction but one less serious than that alleged in the notice of Disciplinary Action. That is to say a ‘highly disruptive foul/second cautionable infraction’ (Category 1 Infraction) which carries a fixed penalty of debarment from playing for the remainder of the game, including extra time in accordance with Rule 146 (b). Earley has the option to have his case heard by the Central Appeals Committee.

Meanwhile Carlow’s Alan Curran incurred a four-weeks suspension following his dismissal against Wicklow at Dr Cullen Park on April 12. Curran was reported by the referee for ‘striking opponent with the hand’ and sent off in the NHL Division Two encounter.

The CHC imposed a four-week suspension, from the date of the game.


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