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No All-Ireland Club SFC final replay as Glen withdraw from appeal process, paving way for Crokes to keep title

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Kilmacud Crokes' players celebrate after the All-Ireland SFC club final match. Photo by: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Kilmacud Crokes' players celebrate after the All-Ireland SFC club final match. Photo by: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Kilmacud Crokes' players celebrate after the All-Ireland SFC club final match. Photo by: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Kilmacud Crokes will be left with the All-Ireland club title after all, following's Glen announcement this evening that they were withdrawing from the process they had started last week by lodging an objection to the presence of a 16th Crokes player on the field during the last passage of play in last Sunday week's final.

In a statement released to 'Gaelic Life' the club outlined their position and said that "due to the ongoing proceedings we as a club now do not believe the conditions exist for a replay to be contested. Consequently, Watty Graham’s, Glen would like to withdraw from this process."

It is quite a dramatic development, coming hours after the GAA confirmed that Kilmacud Crokes had served notice of intent to appeal a Central Competitions Control Committee decision to replay the game after Glen's initial objection was upheld.

It is unclear whether that appeal now goes ahead - Glen did not reference Kilmacud Crokes in their statement - but given that Glen have publicly stated that they are withdrawing from the process and will not, therefore, contest a replay, the title will be awarded to Kilmacud Crokes.

The GAA could seek to establish from Glen if withdrawing from the process means withdrawing the original objection and in that case the original result would stand.

But if withdrawing from the process amounts to not playing a replay they now see no conditions existing for then Crokes would be awarded the title that way.

"As a club, the sense of pride and respect we have for our team and management will endure. They have treated us to countless moments of joy, which until recently, we didn’t even know were possible," the Glen statement to Gaelic Life read.

"Watty Graham’s GAC would like to thank our members for all the support they have given to our players, management and committee. The club would also like to extend our sincere gratitude to all the messages of help and support we have received from throughout the country. We will go again," the statement added.

Kilmacud's appeal to the Central Appeals Committee against the CCCC decision is due to be heard on Sunday and Crokes could yet push through with this anyway to test the CCCC decision to uphold the Glen objection.

In some respects, Glen's decision to withdraw will be seen as validation of the CCCC's decision not to launch their own inquiry and wait for the club to object.

Immediately after the game, Glen manager Malachy O'Rourke felt that Glen would not object.

“I can’t speak for the club or anything else, but I don’t think that’s how the club operates," said O'Rourke.

But within 48 hours Glen had lodged a formal objection and on Monday night that was upheld by CCCC.

Glen's move will be a relief to Kilmacud Crokes who deserved their win on the day despite having 16 active players being on the field in those closing moments.

But by ordering a replay as they did, CCCC's decision will help to safeguard against future abuse of the rules of specification around playing numbers and substitutes.


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