Updated: Drama in Ulster As Ladies Ulster Football Final Ends With Three Different Results
There was an extremely dramatic finale to the Ulster Intermediate Ladies Football final on Sunday as Four Masters ladies went head-to-head with Monaghan Harps for top honours.
However, things did not end in the normal way of one side being crowned winners. Instead, three different scorelines were held at the end of the game – that of the referee, who had Four Masters as winners (2-6 to 1-6), that of the scoreboard, which showed Monaghan Harps as winners (2-4 to 1-8), and that of the Ulster LGFA, which had the game at a draw (2-5 to 1-8).
According to a statement from Four Masters, in the early stages of the second half the referee notified the linesperson and the players on the pitch that the scoreboard had the wrong score.
“About ten minutes into the start of the second half, the referee communicated to both teams that the scoreboard had the wrong score,” explained Four Masters player, Nicola Lacey to Her.ie. “He told us that Monaghan were up by a point and that he would keep us notified of the score throughout.
“He then went to inform the lineswoman, and she in turn told our management and presumably Monaghan’s management and the fourth official – however, the scoreboard was never changed. After that, we scored a goal so by our reckoning we were up by two points, and the referee confirmed that.
One of the superb scores on the day. (Video: Jerome Quinn)
“He had consulted with his umpires previous to this, and they had all agreed on the score that he had. Then, we scored a point which had us up by three and so, in the video of the game when the final whistle blows, you can see us celebrating and Monaghan falling to their knees on the pitch,” she continued.
— Four Masters GAA (@FourMastersCLG) November 2, 2014
“We had been told by the referee that we were in the lead. As a result, myself and the midfielders sat back into the half back line – we set up camp there basically. Nobody was going to get by us, we were defending our lead. For the same reason, Monaghan Harps were doing the opposite. They were attacking at every opportunity.
“What the referee told us affected how we played. If we thought we were losing by a point, or indeed that the game was a draw, we would have been going all out attacking. So when the whistle blew we were exhilarated – but the cup was never awarded to us."
“Instead, we were told that the result is going to be discussed at a meeting of Ulster Council on Tuesday night. It's bizarre. It's surreal. There are no words for what went on yesterday. If the game had been a draw – it should have gone to extra time. Now though, we have to wonder instead why was the scoreboard not changed? Why did the fourth official seemingly not pass on word to get it changed?
“The worst thing about it all is that we (or indeed Monaghan) are not being given a voice at this meeting tomorrow. We have not been allowed to give our version of events. The decision is going to be made without even hearing from the clubs which is grossly unfair,” she added.
“We want to force their (Ulster Council) hand on this before the meeting. We just want fairness. They are taking the referee out of the equation altogether, and yet everyone we have talked to has said that the referee’s score is usually the official score of the game regardless of what anyone else has."
The confusion at the end of the game. (Video: Jerome Quinn)
“There was nothing professional about what happened yesterday. If they thought it was a draw, let it go to extra time. To have three different results is ridiculous. The whole thing is a mess and the best we can hope for now is a replay.
“We deserve a replay. Every girl on that pitch deserves a replay for what happened yesterday. The referee did everything he could at the time to get the score corrected. He went by the book and he communicated efficiently. A replay will cost our club in the region of €1,500 to €2,000. We flew girls home from college in the UK especially for the game.
“Regardless of expense though, we deserve to have our side heard. To have Monaghan ruled as winners now - like the scoreboard had it - after we were told on the pitch that we were in the lead would be wrong.
“The information we were given on the day dictated how we played. All we ask for is that our voice be heard. At such a high level of Ladies football, to have this happen, is a joke. We just want to let people know our side of events,” she said, concluding that Jerome Quinn, who had filmed the match was also being asked to supply the footage of the game.
A statement on the Ulster Ladies GAA website yesterday evening read: “The Ulster intermediate final was declared a draw. Ulster Council will meet on Tuesday night to discuss this game.”
An official statement from Monaghan Harps Ladies GFC was released last night. Within the statement, they listed the players and scorers for the game.
"This statement by Monaghan Harps Ladies GFC contains only facts and actual events that occurred.On Sunday 2nd November 2014 at 1:15p.m. in Brewster Park, Enniskillen, Monaghan Harps Ladies GFC played in the Intermediate Ulster Club Championship Final 2014 against Four Masters (Donegal)."The score at the final whistle was Monaghan Harps 1-08 (11) Four Masters 2-04 (10)," it continued before listing each of the scores from both teams. "It transpired after the final whistle, that the referee had been providing a differing score line to players on both teams, who happened to be in his vicinity, but not all players on the field had been informed of the referee’s inaccurate score line and players were continuing to play to the final whistle based on the actual 2-4 to 1-8 score line evident on the score board.
"The duties of a referee during a game, as per the Ladies Gaelic Football Association Official Guide, do not include informing players of the score during the game. Likewise the referee cannot make the award of a game, but may give the final score if requested. The awarding of the game rests with the committee or council in charge of the fixture.
"This actual 2-04 to 1-08 score line was evident from: the scores which had actually occurred during the game as detailed above, the scoreboard, which was operated by experienced personnel (resident scorekeepers at Brewster Park) who operated the scoreboard in accordance with signals made by the umpires or referee, the fourth official (who is a member of neither Four Masters or Monaghan Harps clubs) confirmed that he had the same score line as the score board immediately after the match.
"The Ulster Council president and Ulster Council fixtures secretary who were keeping tally of the score and scorers to assist them in selecting a player of the match, the media – independent media as well as media from Donegal and Monaghan, including Four Masters own Twitter account as well as that of Ulster Council, the reaction of the crowd whereby Four Masters supporters were magnanimous in defeat and congratulated their opposing jubilant Monaghan Harps supporters."Monaghan Harps Ladies won the Ulster title fairly on the field of play and it is already an injustice that Monaghan Harps Ladies were not presented with their 2014 Ulster title on Sunday 2nd November in Brewster Park. At the final whistle the referee detailed a score line of Four Masters 2-06 Monaghan Harps 1-06 (one can only surmise that the referee inadvertently awarded two of Monaghan Harps Ladies points to the Four Masters tally).The referee then left the field of play amid scenes of disbelief.
"After a significant period of time the Ulster president announced a new score line of Monaghan Harps 1-08 Four Masters 2-05, therefore, attributing an unaccounted point to Four Masters' tally. Monaghan Harps Ladies GFC understand from the Ulster Council website that the game will be discussed on Tuesday night by Ulster Council at a meeting and Monaghan Harps Ladies GFC will determine their next course of action pending the findings of this meeting," it concluded.
The decision will go before Ulster Council Tuesday evening.
The whole debacle provoked massive reaction on Twitter.
— Donna Martin (@DonnaMartin03) November 2, 2014
— joanne mckiernan (@jomckiernan1) November 2, 2014
— Enda Nolan (@EndaJNolan) November 2, 2014