The GAA is facing another boardroom challenge after a post-primary schools football match ended in mayhem last weekend.
Patrician Academy, Mallow have lodged a request for a hearing to Munster Council, after they lost the provincial post-primary schools B under 19 semi-final in a controversial finish against Abbey CBS, Tipperary.
It is claimed that a critical refereeing decision was made after the final whistle was blown in the game, which was played in Kilmallock last Saturday.
Patrician Academy trailed by one point in the closing moments. Video footage shows the referee blowing the final whistle and signalling the end of the match moments after Patrician Academy scored an injury-time goal, which seemed to have earned them a dramatic two-point win.
But it is claimed that having consulted with his umpires the referee then restarted the game briefly, and disallowed the goal, giving Abbey a free out instead.
When he blew his whistle again for the final time, Abbey were declared 1-12 to 2-8 winners.
During the last brief segment of play there were members of the crowd still on the pitch since the first stoppage.
The disputed goal came when a long ball into the Abbey goalmouth broke from the keeper’s hands and an opposition forward fisted to the net.
In his match report sent to the Competitions Control Committee (CCC) of the Munster post-primary schools body, the referee confirmed he had blown the final whistle and given the goal and that he changed the decision afterwards.
A video clip shows the Mallow school’s players celebrating as he sounds his final whistle and extends his arms to signal the game is over. And, believing they had just been defeated at the death, several Abbey CBS players can be seen falling to the ground.
The referee later reported that after noticing an umpire seeking his attention he consulted with his officials and decided to disallow the score for a square ball.
Patrician Academy will have its case heard by Munster Council at a hearing in the coming week. Mitchelstown CBS are waiting in the final, scheduled for Saturday next.
A request for an investigation from Patrician Academy was sent to the CCC of the Munster post-primary schools body earlier in the week. But it was turned down, the committee upholding the referee’s report and scoreline declaring Abbey victorious.
The case may raise issues around what constitutes the end of the match and ‘normal time’ as contained in the Official Guide.
The Mallow school won the C version of the All-Ireland senior schools under 19 competition in 2019, defeating St Paul’s, Oughterard in the final. Abbey CBS, based in Tipperary town, are the defending Munster champions, having won it for an eighth time last year. They lost the Munster B final to Patrician Academy in 2020.
The referee claimed in his report that he was verbally abused after the game by people unknown to him who were not mentors or players.
He claimed that he had awarded the Mallow school a free in injury time, which landed near the opposition goal and a Mallow player put the ball in the net. As he blew for full-time his umpires notified him that the Mallow player was in the small square before the ball was kicked. He therefore changed the decision to a free out.