Championship chaos ensued on Sunday afternoon in Derrylin, as one team turned up, one goal was scored and one winner was declared.
Derrygonnelly Harps was scheduled to play Kinawley in the Reserve Championship quarter-final, with a 3pm throw-in, but on Sunday morning Kinawley Brian Boru’s posted on social media that the game was postponed.
The game was not in fact postponed, as far as the CCC and the Harps were concerned. Referee Michael Keown threw the ball in as planned and with only one team on the field and in the most bizarre of circumstances, Derrygonnelly had the simple task of scoring into an empty net and the game was awarded to the Harps.
Kinawley’s concerns around player welfare begun when the club was notified by one of their players on Friday evening at 6pm that they had received a positive Covid result, and that player was therefore isolating in accordance with the regulations. The senior match between Kinawley and Derrygonnelly proceeded as planned on Friday evening as this was an isolated case and the player involved had not been in contact with other panel members.
On Saturday morning, two more players contacted club officials to say they were close contacts of positive cases. These two players had been part of the senior match day panel the previous evening (Friday) and after taking lateral flow tests both men tested positive. They were then PCR tested on Saturday, and it confirmed the lateral flow results, both men were positive and are subsequently isolating.
Given the three positive cases, the Kinawley club asked the entire panel and management to get tested.
With the Reserve Championship match due to be played on Sunday afternoon, Kinawley contacted the Competition’s Control Committee (CCC) to request a delay until Tuesday which would give the team and management time to get tested and receive their results.
The club spokesperson has told the Fermanagh Herald on Monday that;
“All lads were isolating until results came back. Some are fully vaccinated and some are not. At this point, we have had some results back and they are negative.”
Kinawley stated that, “Player and management welfare has to be our main priority, irrespective of the need to get games played.”
The club believe they have been shown a “lack of respect” and will now formally appeal the decision to not postpone the game.
The Fermanagh CCC were contacted with a number of questions in relation to the decision and a spokesperson for Fermanagh GAA said:
“Kinawley Brian Borus sought a postponement to a Reserve Football Championship match that was scheduled for Sunday 15th August against Derrygonnelly Harps citing fears of potential Covid-19 cases within the club. The club secretary was in contact with the Adult Fixtures Administrator with regards to this request and the Adult Fixtures Administrator set out the Competitions Control Committee’s position on granting postponement requests, which was communicated to all clubs last Tuesday.
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Posted: 10:00 am August 20, 2021