Christy Ring Cup final: Controversial decider to be replayed after score fiasco

Meath's Joey Keena challenges Antrim's Neal McAuley at Croke Park last weekend
Antrim will hope to seal a return to inter-county hurling's top tier in Newry

The Christy Ring Cup final will be replayed on Saturday in Newry after GAA bosses acted on Tuesday following last weekend's scoreline controversy.

Meath were presented with the trophy after the referee calculated that they had won by a point - 2-18 to 1-20.

However, it quickly became apparent that the correct score in the second-tier hurling final was 2-17 to 1-20.

Antrim had called for a replay after a result which saw the Saffrons missing out on a return to the top tier.

The rematch will take place at Newry's Pairc Esler with a 19:00 BST start.

Speaking after Tuesday morning's All-Ireland Football qualifiers draw, GAA president Aogan O Fearghail acknowledged that the the controversial hurling decider was likely to be replayed.

"If it ended in a draw, then there is only one action they can take," the GAA president told RTE.

Antrim had officially sought a replay after meeting to discuss the controversy on Monday night.

"Our expectation is the match will be replayed this weekend," Antrim chairman Collie Donnelly told BBC Sport NI on Monday.

Antrim's Conor Carson and Meath's James Toher may have to face each other again if the GAA decide to replay the Christy Ring Cup final
Antrim's Conor Carson and Meath's James Toher may have to face each other again if the GAA decide to replay the Christy Ring Cup final

GAA president rules out Ring Cup compromise

The GAA president has ruled out the possibility that both Meath and Antrim could be promoted to next year's Leinster Championship as a compromise following Saturday's fiasco.

The Christy Ring Cup winners earn promotion to the Leinster Championship in addition to the possibility of clinching a place in the All-Ireland qualifiers.

Meath did not offer a replay, a decision which Antrim GAA chairman Donnelly described as "disappointing".

"If it was the other way round, we would have offered it straight away," he said.

"At the the end of the day nobody won the match, so it's disappointing they haven't come forward."

Donnelly suggested the match be replayed as a curtain-raiser to Meath's Leinster senior football championship match against Louth in Parnell Park, Dublin on Sunday but the GAA's Central Competitions Control Committee instead decided to schedule the game for Saturday at Pairc Esler.

Scoreboard mayhem

There are suggestions that the problem arose when the stadium scoreboard incorrectly Meath an Antrim point in the 63rd minute.

The scoreboard was quickly adjusted to register an Antrim point but there is a suggestion that the Meath score wasn't taken away.

Referee O'Brien, having been initially satisfied that Meath had won by a point, is understood to have admitted that he did make a mistake.

Antrim lost a nine-point lead in Saturday's game as Sean Quigley hit 1-1 in the closing stages to apparently give Meath victory.

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