Galway hurling championship in limbo

For the second time in three years, the Galway senior hurling championship could be stalled because of an ineligibility row.

Turloughmore’s 0-16 to 0-13 victory over Pádraig Pearses on Saturday looked to have seen them earn a quarter-final spot ahead of Portumna.

However, Portumna were successful in appealing their 2-17 to 0-18 defeat to Turloughmore in June after citing that the north Galway team fielded an illegal player that had transferred to the US.

According to the GAA website, Jamie Holland was granted a switch to Chicago club Cú Chulainns on June 1, two days before they beat Portumna. Holland came on as a substitute in the game, scoring four points in the game, two from frees.

Portumna missed the three-day window following the game to appeal but were only made aware of Holland’s situation after it had elapsed. However, under rule, the Galway competitions control committee (CCC) were obliged to investigate the matter.

Portumna brought their case to the Connacht Council on three occasions after it was twice referred back to the Galway board before the player was eventually handed a proposed 12-week ban as well as the club chairman and secretary while the two points awarded to Turloughmore for the victory were then deducted from them.

That would mean Portumna, on five points, would qualify for the knock-out stages with Turloughmore, demoted to four, facing a relegation battle.

However, the championship is in limbo as Turloughmore are in the process of appealing the board’s decision with an imminent appearance before the Connacht Council. It’s believed they will bring their case to the Disputes Resolution Authority should the council uphold the county CCC’s decision.

In 2014, Turloughmore contested the Galway competitions control committee’s decision to eject them from the championship for fielding an ineligible player against Beagh.

The championship was held up for six weeks because of the saga and the final didn’t take place until mid-December.

In 2009, the final between Portumna and Loughrea was put back as there was a question of whether Mullagh, who had lost the semi-final to Loughrea, were going to appeal the result.

Turloughmore is currently managed by former Mayo senior football manager James Horan who is assisted by John Hession and former Galway dual player Barry Cullinane. Brendan Gantley is in charge of Portumna this season.


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