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Niall Galvin secures the ball ahead of Cathal Dillon and Jamie Fitzgibbon. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

RELEGATED teams from the Clare SHC have been given a new lifeline following a ruling by Munster GAA.

At an online hearing on Wednesday evening, the Munster GAA Heating Committee upheld an appeal lodged by Crusheen GAA to do with the relegation series in this year’s Clare SHC. Their appeal was upheld by the provincial body and will now be referred back to Clare GAA. Both Crusheen and Clarecastle were relegated to intermediate last month with Clooney/Quin and O’Callaghans Mills maintaining their status.

A spokesperson for Munster GAA told The Clare Echo, “The matter has been sent back to Clare GAA for reprocessing and both Clare GAA and Crusheen have been informed of the decision taken”.

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What happens next remains unclear with the possibility of both Crusheen and Clarecastle staying senior next year which would mean that three teams would be relegated by the end of the 2022 championship. The four teams that ended up in the 2021 series may have to play-off games again to determine who goes down.

Following Crusheen’s victory over Clarecastle in the final round, the club began working on appeal having cited their annoyance with the use of scoring difference to separate teams. The 2010 champions finished level on points with Clooney/Quin and the Mills but had the poorest scoring difference while Clarecastle had no win from three outings.

Clare GAA clarified midway through the relegation series that scoring difference would be used to determine the teams that would drop down to intermediate. This move came too late, clubs have argued.

Chairman of Crusheen, Michael O’Connor told The Clare Echo that the matter must now be dealt with by Clare GAA.

Officials in Clarecastle GAA club are now considering lodging an appeal which could see them stay in the top tier. “We haven’t fully processed it, we will take advice from people on what we need to do now,” Chairman Niall Tuohy explained.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Tuohy commented, “The competition was ran improperly without clear guidelines and was against the proper ruling. The competition has now been deemed invalid, we’re delighted with that, if it was invalid for one team then it must be invalid for all four teams competing in it”.

The Clare Echo understands that both O’Callaghans Mills and Clooney/Quin would offer resistance to the prospect of the relegation series between the four teams commencing once again.

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