*Barry Fitzpatrick in action against Gary Cooney. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

SIXMILEBRIDGE will compete in the Senior B hurling championship and O’Callaghans Mills in the relegation play-off after their appeals to the Munster Council.

A potential delay to the TUS Clare senior hurling championship has since been averted, unless the neighbouring clubs opt to take their case further to the Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA).

The Clare Echo understands that in their appeal to the Munster Council, Sixmilebridge questioned the governance of the rule whereas O’Callaghans Mills queried the interpretation of the rule which implied that on head to head their win over The Bridge would see them avoid the relegation series.

Chairman of Sixmilebridge GAA, Syl O’Connor told The Clare Echo that they will study the report from Munster Council on Thursday evening before deciding if they will bring a case to the DRA. “We tried the case, we didn’t dispute the rule, it is done and dusted by Central Council, we disputed the guidance and governance of the rule and the minutes appearing or not appearing, that was our basic approach”.

Adding some potential hope to The Bridge is that the DRA voted in favour of Offaly club, Gracefield last week. The DRA adjudged that as Offaly’s championship regulations had not been changed to comply with the new rule it was not effective and therefore Gracefield should have been finished higher in their group and awarded a senior B football semi-final instead of a quarter-final place.

Joe Cooney, Chairman of O’Callaghans Mills said they expected to receive correspondence from the provincial body on Thursday outlining the reasons why their appeal was unsuccessful. He said they would organise a meeting of the Club Executive following on from this to plan their next step and whether they will bring the case to a higher body.

Endorsed by almost 83 percent of delegates at Congress in February, Rule 6.21 (5) (c) was voted in as a new method of separating teams who finished on equal points where issues of qualification for the knockout stages, or promotion or relegation, had to be decided.

Submitted by Burgess in Tipperary, the proposal was an update of a previous motion overwhelmingly passed at Congress three years ago that pertained to separating teams on the same number of points affected by a walkover, proven objection to a result, or a disqualification. The rule was applied by the Leinster Council this year.

Clare GAA updated their competition regulations earlier this year to fall in line with the Croke Park guidelines. This has meant that in the scenario where more than two teams are level on points at the conclusion of the group stages and scoring difference is to be used, it is the scoring difference from the games involving the teams that are level on points and not all games from the entire group.

Based on scoring difference of all games in Group 2 of the TUS Clare SHC, Sixmilebridge finished in second (-3), Crusheen were in third (-4) and O’Callaghans Mills (-8) were in fourth spot.

However, the picture changed when each club’s outings against Clonlara are removed from the equation with Crusheen moving to second (+5), Sixmilebridge (+2) into third and the Mills staying in fourth (-7).

With the final round of games in Group 1 of the Clare SHC to take place on Saturday, all eight quarter-finalists will be known after the meeting of Scariff and Kilmaley. The quarter-final draw is scheduled to be held at TUS’s Ennis campus on Bindon St this Monday.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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