Monday 18 December 2017

Abandoned league clash could have been played next day

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The GAA's head of games administration Fergal McGill has admitted it "wouldn't have been impossible" to have refixed the abandoned Mayo v Dublin Allianz League Division 1 match for the next day, and played the game last Sunday afternoon.

McGill confirmed such a move would have been "very tricky" and would have had to come from a Central Competitions Controls Committee (CCCC) meeting.

But he said it would not have been beyond the bounds of possibility for the game to have gone ahead again at McHale Park in Castlebar, some 19 hours after it was abandoned by referee Marty Duffy due to fog.

The suggestion was made by Dublin manager Pat Gilroy, who said it would have tested the players' fitness to go out and play another 70 minutes, having played 35 already.

Mayo manager James Horan had no objection to the move, either.

Dublin were staying in Castlebar overnight and would have been keen to avoid a return visit to the venue, which they will now make on March 31.

Apparently, the idea was floated but was deemed too risky on a number of fronts.

"The CCCC would really have to formally make such a new fixture and getting the word out that it had been refixed for the following day would have been an issue. But it probably wasn't an impossibility," McGill said.

Another concern would have been how the Dublin supporters, most of whom had returned to the capital later on Saturday night, would have got to see the match.

The validity of James McCarthy's red card was also under question, but it has emerged that the decision stands despite the abandonment of the game.

McCarthy is expected to hear word of a proposed one-match ban today, which Dublin are almost certain to contest.

Meanwhile, Kerry's Tomas O Se is likely to be banned for two matches under the disciplinary system.

O Se's red card for striking Armagh's Ciaran McKeever with the knee faces the prospect of being doubled as he was also sent off for a Category Two offence in the Munster championship against Tipperary last May.

It is the third successive year that O Se will find himself serving a suspension. In 2010 he was suspended retrospectively for a one month after an altercation with Limerick's Stephen Kelly.

Irish Independent

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