Ulster Council hits back at Slaughtneil boss in ‘extra-time’ final furore

The Ulster Council have hit back at suggestions they “disrespected” hurling by playing extra-time in Sunday’s AIB Ulster Club hurling final.

Cushendall beat Slaughtneil 1-24 to 3-17 after a thrilling 80 minutes in the Athletic Grounds but defeated manager Michael McShane felt the game should have been replayed when it finished level at 1-18 to 3-12.

“It’s an Ulster final, it’s a prestigious game and we were shoved into a period of extra time,” he said.

“We hadn’t been told that’s the way it was going to be. I do feel had it been a football final, would it have gone to extra time? I don’t think so. Hurling always plays second fiddle and today (Sunday) it was disrespected.”

The prospect of extra-time was flagged up in the Ulster Council fixtures list released last Monday and provincial spokesman John Connolly insisted yesterday both clubs had been notified that, in the event of a draw, extra time would be played.

“It was in the fixtures and both clubs were notified about it and that’s the rule,” he claimed.

“It’s there in black and white, Rule 3.5 in Part II of the Official Guide and we went by the Official Guide (which states unless the management committee of Central Council otherwise permits on an application by a Competitions Control Committee, extra-time shall be obligatory in the following competitions – All-Ireland qualifiers, U21 and minor (excluding provincial and All-Ireland finals), knockout stages of the league, inter-club provincial and All-Ireland championships).

“That’s the way it is now in all provincial club games if necessary,” continued Connolly. “Whether it’s football or hurling makes no difference, that’s the way we do things. We don’t make a distinction between the two.”

Reigning Ulster Club football champions Slaughtneil have 13 dual players who must now prepare for a 14th championship game in 12 weeks this Sunday, when they take on Monaghan champions Scotstown.

“For our dual players to be asked to play another 20 minutes, I just feel it’s unacceptable. I feel aggrieved by that,” added McShane.

The last time an Ulster club final finished in a draw was the 2008 football decider between Crossmaglen and Ballinderry. No extra time was played after the sides finished at 1-10 apiece, and Crossmaglen won after a replay.

Provision for extra-time at all inter-club games was subsequently passed at a Special Congress.

A motion from Tipperary to this year’s annual congress to make extra time obligatory in all inter-club and inter-county games up to and including All-Ireland finals was heavily defeated.


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