By Fiona O’Brien
This weekend’s Junior Football Championship final is back on, two days after it was postponed due to a discrepancy in one of the semi-final replays last weekend.
The second replay between Moindearg and Eire Og was voided by the London county board, after it was decided that there was a breach of the rules in the match due to an extra player being on the pitch. However, Eire Og have now conceded the replay after they brought attention to the fact they had fielded an ineligible player.
On Saturday a Moindearg player had received a first-half yellow card, followed by a black card in the second half, but was not given a red card so his coaching staff made the routine black card replacement.
The London County Board stated that the semi-final would replayed for a second time, the first game finished in a draw, in the slot scheduled for the final this Sunday afternoon.
However, today the County Board has announced that the original final between Moindearg, who won their second meeting with Eire Og 1-11 to 0-8, and Thomas McCurtains would now go ahead as initially scheduled.
They announced that it will be at 12pm on august 31 but made no further comment.
Mattie Maher, Moindearg manager said: “We will be in the final against Thomas McCurtains on Sunday.
“The county board heard that Eire Og fielded an illegal player in our first semi-final match against them, so they are to be thrown out from the Championship.”
Eire Og responded with their own statement, confirming that it was their club that alerted the County Board to their error, as they as a club want to uphold honesty and integrity.
“Our club discovered late yesterday, having sought clarification from the county board, that we fielded an ineligible player in the first London Junior Championship semi-final game against Moindearg on Sunday 17th August 2014.
“This was entirely inadvertent and wholly innocent on the part of the club and the player.
We transferred a player from his home football club in Ireland. He had not and did not play in the football championship in his home county for that club. He had, however, played hurling championship there with a separately affiliated hurling club.
It is permitted for a player to be registered with two separate London hurling and football clubs, but the rules do not allow for separate clubs in London and Ireland.
“As soon as we became aware of this, we resolved to inform the county board immediately. The county board were unaware of it until we informed them and no complaint by any other team had been made,” the statement continues.
“We acted entirely voluntarily and in the interests of honesty and integrity, in keeping with the ethos of the GAA which we as a club value above all else.
“We realised that this would mean we were effectively forfeiting our place in the competition, and therefore we acted quickly to ensure that this could be dealt so that the London Junior County Final could go ahead this weekend.
“Our expectation is that we will be subject to the penalties set out in the GAA Rules and Constitution, however unfair or disproportionate they seem in this context.
“We wish both Moindearg and Tomás McCurtains the best of luck in the London Junior Football Championship Final this weekend.”