Glen to seek rule clarification after Kilmacud finish final with 16 men on the field

Controversy. Dara Mullin (circled) stayed on the field as a substitute went on meaning Kilmacud had 16 players on the field at the death.
Controversy. Dara Mullin (circled) stayed on the field as a substitute went on meaning Kilmacud had 16 players on the field at the death. Controversy. Dara Mullin (circled) stayed on the field as a substitute went on meaning Kilmacud had 16 players on the field at the death.

All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship: Watty Graham’s Glen 1-9 Kilmacud Crokes 1-11

GLEN will seek clarification from the GAA on whether yesterday’s nail-biting All-Ireland final should be replayed because Kilmacud had 16 players on the field when Conleth McGuckian drilled in a last-gasp shot.

Two points separated the teams when Kilmacud goalkeeper Conor Ferris saved Conor Glass’s goal-bound effort. The ball went out for a 45 and the Kilmacud management made two substitutions – two men went on but only one (Paul Mannion) went off.

Dara Mullin stayed on the pitch and he was on the goalline when the ensuing 45 was played short to McGuckian. It fizzed wide and the referee blew the final whistle.

“We have been made aware that potentially a rule was broken and the club will be seeking clarification from the GAA on it,” said club chairman Barry Slowey.

Glen manager Malachy O’Rourke said he had asked the fourth official for the 45 to be retaken but no action was taken. He doubted if further action would be taken.

“I can’t speak for the club or anything else but I don’t think that’s how the club operates,” he said.

“We had our chances, we gave it our best shot. Look it, that shouldn’t happen. I can’t speak for the club but I just think we’ll accept we got beat on the day.”

O’Rourke’s side had the perfect start. Danny Tallon had the ball in the back of the Kilmacud net after 34 seconds and Glen built up a five-point lead before the Dubliners took control and they led by a point at half-time.

The second half was tit-for-tat with both sides taking the lead but Kilmacud hung on to win by two points at the finish.

“It is heartbreaking,” said O’Rourke.

“In the first half we felt we started well and then we faded off a bit and we didn't play the football we're capable of playing. We wanted to make sure that we did that in the second half.

“I thought the boys really dug in the second half, showed a lot of character and played with a lot of quality as well and we did eke out chances for ourselves and we took some.

“Unfortunately we didn't take others, that's just the way it goes.”

Despite the defeat there are many positives for the Glen manager and his players to take from a ground-breaking season. A second Derry title, a first Ulster title and a first-ever All-Ireland final appearance.

“I’m very proud of the boys,” he said.

“They have worked really hard, they have committed to everything we have asked of them.

“Last year was a big disappointment to lose to Kilcoo (Ulster semi-final) but we bounced back and the boys really had that hunger to go again and to win Ulster and come back.

“It’s a long, hard journey to get through to an All-Ireland final. It doesn’t soften the blow when you come so close. That’s hard to get over as well but there’s load of quality there, there’s loads of ambition, there’s loads of drive so hopefully we’ll bounce back.”

Meanwhile, Glen goalscorer Tallon, who finished the final with 1-3, said coming so close made losing “harder to take”.

“We maybe didn’t get the rub off the green but there things happen,” he said.

“It’s been an incredible year, although it doesn’t feel like that now. We only won our first Derry championship last year and to go on and win Ulster a year later and get to the All-Ireland final is a good achievement.

“The support has been unbelievable and we’re very grateful for it, it’s just a pity we couldn’t get over the line today for them. We know we’re not far away, we can compete at this level and the experience will do us good. We’ll regroup and go again next year.”