Séamus Harnedy free to play Cork’s Munster opener against Tipp
Kilkenny’s Conor Delaney also cleared for opening round of provincial championship
Cork’s Séamus Harnedy is sent off against Tipp. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Séamus Harnedy will be free to play for Cork hurlers’ opening Munster championship fixture against Tipperary. Similarly, Kilkenny’s Conor Delaney will be eligible for the county’s first championship outing when Dublin visit Nowlan Park.
Both players were cleared by Thursday night’s meeting of the GAA’s Central Appeals Committee, which ruled that outstanding suspensions had been served in March’s league play-off between the counties.
The Cork captain, who was shown a red card in the league defeat by, coincidentally, Tipperary and Delaney, sent off against Wexford in Kilkenny’s final regulation match, argued that they had served any applicable suspension by missing the end of season play-off.
Originally it had been ruled that such a match - played to determine which county would be in next year’s Division 1A and which in 1B - could not be used to burn off a match ban and the GAA’s Central Council stated that to be the case.
Rule 7.5 (c) states: “A game or competition, the sole purpose of which is to determine qualification or relegation in respect of a following year’s championship or league, shall not be deemed to be the ‘same competition’ as that of the current year’s championship or league . . .”
Although both players accepted suspension, Cork and Kilkenny argued that the rule didn’t apply as the play-off between the fifth- and sixth-placed counties in Division 1A wasn’t, as usual, a relegation play-off as there was no relegation this year because the league was being restructured.
Thursday night’s meeting of the Central Appeals Committee convened to decide on the matter and held that the players were free to play in the championship.
Harnedy would have been a major loss for Cork. An All Star in 2018, he is one of the best ball winners in the game. Delaney though sustained an injury playing for his club Castlecomer last weekend and may be missing from the early championship matches, anyway.