Clubs cry foul as rival gets extra time in pitch bid
TWO west of Ireland soccer clubs are going nuts over extra time being awarded to the provincial winner of a breakfast cereal competition for a sports field makeover.
Competition reached fever pitch for the Connacht title in the Kellogg's 'Field of Dreams' competition, which comes with a €10,000 cash prize and a one-in-four chance of winning a €100,000 pitch make-over.
But crunch time came when it emerged that the eventual winners, Kilglass Gaels, from Rooskey, Co Roscommon, had been granted an extra 16 hours to raise the necessary 900 coupons to enter -- after they submitted just 500.
This was on top of an additional week given to allow some clubs to reach the full quota.
Kellogg's said that it accepted that the club had made a genuine mistake.
But the only two other clubs that made it to the Connacht Final -- Aughanagh Celtic Football Club, Co Sligo and Portumna Town Football Club, Co Galway -- insist the winning team had not adhered to competition terms and conditions.
Michelle King, of Aughanagh Celtic, said: "There are many young people involved in this contest and, if rules are strictly laid down, they should be adhered to -- if only to educate the young folk that set rules allow fair play.
"If I rang the National Lottery and explained that I meant to put down the winning numbers but got confused, would that make me a millionaire."
She added that the Kellogg's 'Field of Dreams' competition should be called the 'Field of Nightmares'.
The chairman of Portumna Town FC wrote to Kellogg's seeking clarification.
A spokesperson for Kellogg's said yesterday that, when they checked, Kilglass advised them it was a genuine human error and set about collecting the remaining 400 coupons overnight, most of which had already been gathered in one school, and delivered them early the next day.
"In the interest of sportsmanship, Kellogg's gave the club until the next morning to submit the correct amount of tokens. Kellogg's stands by the 'Field of Dreams' judging process and is satisfied this was a genuine mistake and that the error was corrected within the timeframe allocated to the club."
Noreen Corcoran, a spokesperson for winning club said they were disappointed at the attack.
"Had any other club been chosen, our club in true sportsmanship would have been the first to congratulate them," she said.
The four finalists, selected by RTE sports broadcasters Tracey Piggott, Marty Morrissey, Rob Kearney and Jacqui Hurley, will go head to head on the 'Late Late Show' on September 10 and the winner will be announced in October.