Monday 28 May 2018

Tough on Meath but re-fixture is the right call

Tipperary referee John O’Brien. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/SPORTSFILE
Tipperary referee John O’Brien. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/SPORTSFILE
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Whatever the fallout may be, the GAA had no choice but to order that the Antrim-Meath Christy Ring Cup final be re-fixed.

It's tough on Meath after having been presented with the trophy and enjoying the celebrations, but they didn't actually win the game.

Their 'victory' resulted from an actual score-keeping error, rather than a matter of judgement regarding a decision that led to a score, as happened with Meath's late goal that beat Louth in the 2010 Leinster football final.

Even if the result of the Ring Cup final had no impact on the line-up for next year's Leinster Championship- which it has - the only fair option would be to re-fix the game.

Suggestions emanating from some quarters in recent days that a compromise could be reached whereby Meath retained the Cup and Antrim took the slot in the Leinster Championship next year were plain daft.

That, in effect, would have meant that neither team won nor lost, yet the result would not have been given as a draw. So what would it have been?

Trying to keep both sides happy with that type of deal would have been a cop-out, not only devaluing the competition but also creating a dangerous precedent.

As for the self-righteous types who are blaming Tipperary referee John O'Brien (left), isn't it wonderful that they never made a mistake?

His error should be seen for what it is - a one-off aberration - that could happen to anyone. Hopefully, it won't impact on his refereeing career in any way.

Irish Independent

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