Christy Ring fiasco set to rumble on as Meath say replay is ‘impossible’

Meath hurling chairman TJ Reilly believes it would be impossible to stage a replay of the Christy Ring Cup final.

Meath players and fans spent much of the weekend celebrating a maiden triumph after beating Antrim 2-18 to 1-20 in Saturday’s Croke Park decider.

However, the GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee will convene today to discuss the possibility that the match ended in a draw, not a one-point win for Meath.

It’s been reported referee John O’Brien has already acknowledged an error in his calculation of the scores.

Confusion arose in the closing 10 minutes when both the scoreboard at Croke Park and broadcaster TG4 wrongly attributed separate points scored by Meath and Antrim players.

Antrim’s executive committee met last night and speaking in advance of that meeting team selector Terence ‘Sambo’ McNaughton said his opinion is that ‘there has to be a replay’.

Meath hurling chairman Reilly, a former Royal County manager, said it’s his personal belief a replay would be entirely impractical.

Some Meath players are understood to have plans to travel to the US while the county senior hurling championship begins next weekend.

“I would say it would be impossible to have a replay now,” said Reilly.

“When would you play it? From a logistics point of view, Meath have set up their championships for next weekend. All of our fixtures are set out really until late August. We’d have a major problem there straight away.

“We genuinely don’t know what the story is and we’re waiting to see what comes out of the CCCC meeting. But that would be my own opinion on it.

“It’s purely a personal opinion but I feel it would be illogical.”

Reilly questioned why no action was taken between the ending of the game and the awarding of the Christy Ring Cup to Meath.

“That’s a part of it that amazes me,” he said. “There was a quarter of an hour there to sort things out and nothing was done.

If there was a mistake, why wasn’t it checked at that stage? We could have went to extra-time if that was the case.”

Pundit and Clare legend Anthony Daly suggested on the Sunday Game TV show that both Meath and Antrim could advance to the Leinster qualifier series of games for 2017.

As things stand, only Meath are permitted to advance as tier two champions.

“Whatever conclusion they come to on this is up to them, I wouldn’t be making any suggestions,” said Reilly. “Would we object to that suggestion? Probably not. I’d imagine we’ll take whatever comes our way.”


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