In order to try and dispell the rumour, speculation and conspiracy surrounding the result of Saturday’s Minor semi-final between Clan Na Gael and an O’Connells/Joes/Stabannon, the Mid-Louth team’s management have issued a statement:
“We note the objection lodged by Clan na Gael club in reference to the referee’s report on Saturdays minor semi-final between O’Connells/Stabannon/Joes and Clan na Gael and the Minor Boards subsequent rejection at last night’s Minor Board CCC meeting.
“It has become clear that a lot of confusion and misinformation is circulating since the game on Saturday and we would like to clear some things up.
“The main confusion lies in the fact that some sections of the ground believed the half time score to be 1-7 to 1-8 in favour of the Clans and this was then changed on the referee’s instructions to 1-8 to 1-8 before the start of the second half. What actually happened was that two points were scored in very quick succession by O’Connells/Stabannon/Joes and the umpire signalled the scores to the referee from behind the goals, but for some reason for one of the scores he didn’t raise the white flag to signal the score as well. It wasn’t registered on the scoreboard at that time until apparently notified by the referee at half time. This has been confirmed to us by different people in different parts of the ground.
“As one of my players had suffered a serious ankle injury in the first half, I was unsure of the score at half time as well so I asked the referee the score before the second half commenced and he stated that the score was indeed 1-8 to 1-8 as the scoreboard was also reflecting by that time.
“I trust this clears up any confusion as this has been borne out by the referee’s report which is, and always will be, the official record of the game. I would like to reassure everyone that if we honestly suspected that the result was not legitimate we would have seriously considered our position.
“Indeed, after the game both team managers went into the opposing dressing rooms and congratulated and sympathised with each other and wised each other the best in the future as both sides had accepted the score at that time. I sympathise with Clan na Gael and can understand at how they arrived at their conclusions but the real facts speak for themselves.
“I recognise that Clan na Gael club are disappointed not to be participating in another minor final but equally, our team has worked hard and played fair to get to what is, for them all, the pinnacle of their footballing careers so far. I would like to take this opportunity to wish Clan na Gael the best of luck for the rest of season as there is still a Division 1 league title to play for. We will continue to prepare and eagerly look forward to the minor final on October 7th in Drogheda.”