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Kilmessan hurling row reaches boiling point

RELATIONS between the Meath County Board and the Kilmessan hurling club took a turn for the worse at the monthly County Board meeting on Monday night.</

RELATIONS between the Meath County Board and the Kilmessan hurling club took a turn for the worse at the monthly County Board meeting on Monday night.

The meeting was adjourned in dramatic circumstances by County Chairman Fintan Ginnity after Kilmessan club secretary Martin Curran repeatedly interrupted the meeting, demanding clarification on behalf of his club.

Kilmessan currently have a fine of £1,500 hanging over them and the County Board have refused to affiliate the club until they pay it.

The club have lodged a cheque for the amount with the County Board's solictors, but it will not be release until they get clarifcation from the Central Council that the County Board are within their rights to disbar them from affiliation under Rule 110.

The club also want a detailed breakdown of the fine, which the County Board say is amount of expenses they incurred as a result of Kilmessan's failure to play the county hurling final on the appointed date last October.

County hurling sponsor Martin Donnelly, the former sponsor of the Clare footballers, also offered to pay the fine last weekend, but so far his offer has not been taken up by the County Board.

The stand-off, which dates back to a disputed date for last season's county final, has now reached boiling point and Kilmessan now look likely to take their case to the Leinster Council.

Despite fears of a player boycott, Kilmessan's four county players lined out for Meath in their first ever Division One game last weekend, when they held Clare manfully for most of the game before losing by 4-15 to 0-14.

While their hurling club is currently not affiliated, Kilmessan's players can play for Meath because they are also registered members of Dunsany's football club.

There's also bad news for the county's football fans as star forward Trevor Giles looks unlikely to play for the county again until well after the National League.

The former Footballer of the Year hasn't played a match since the International Rules Series in October, but only discovered the severity of his problem before Christmas when it was confirmed as a torn disc.

"At the moment I'd be afraid to play on it and it could be April before I'm back, though you never know how these things develop," said Giles. "The encouraging thing is that it has been feeling a lot better recently."

Giles's clubmate John McDermott, another long-term absentee, raised hopes of his imminent return by resuming club training with Skryne last week.