Galway GAA club calls for investigation after 'scoring mix-up'

A GAA club in Galway has asked the county board to investigate the outcome of a championship football match which they say has left them facing a relegation battle because of a scoring mix-up.

An Spidéal came close to causing a major shock in the Galway SFC last weekend against former All-Ireland club champions Salthill/Knocknacarra but in the end went down by 0-16 to 1-12.

However, that scoreline is disputed by An Spidéal who say that video evidence backs up their claim that they led by 1-11 to 0-6 at half-time and not 1-10 to 0-6 as recorded by the referee. Live local media reports also put them ahead by eight points and An Spidéal presumed they were level in the dying moments when they got a free in front of the posts.

But when referee Mairtin Flaherty told them they were a point down, they had no choice but to go for a goal as a draw would not have been enough to avoid the relegation play-offs, and the shot was blocked and cleared.

An Spidéal claim the mistake has put them in a relegation battle.
An Spidéal claim the mistake has put them in a relegation battle.

Club chairman Tadhg O Conghaile said they believe a genuine scoring error was made but that it has huge ramifications for the Connemara club.

“A win would have been enough for us to avoid the relegation play-off. It would also have been a huge boost for us beating a team like Salthill/Knocknacarra. We have looked back at the video and we had eleven points in the opening half, all of them were flagged by the umpire.

“We are not blaming the referee, mistakes happen, we have all made them, but he only recorded ten points for us in the first-half and we have a duty to our players and our club to have this investigated because we shouldn’t be in the relegation play-offs.

“All the local media who were there, the live radio reports, had the same scoreline as us. It was just an unfortunate mistake but we don’t feel we should be penalised for it,” said O Conghaile, a former Galway football board chairman.

The controversial outcome has no bearing on make-up of the quarter-finals of the Galway SFC as Salthill/Knocknacarra would advance to play Corofin by virtue of a superior scoring difference either way, but An Spidéal go into the relegation play-offs instead of St Michael’s on scoring difference.

Earlier this summer An Spidéal were one of the clubs in Galway which suggested that relegation should be scrapped this year because of Covid-19 and that might be something which the county board might revisit.

An Spidéal are due to play Monivea-Abbey on Sunday week with the losers facing either Micheal Breathnachs or Caherlistrane to establish which side is relegated to intermediate.