9 March 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Just how much of a leg-up is home advantage in the world of Gaelic games? And why is it that teams invariably perform that bit better on home soil? Surely there’s enough imponderables there to spawn a post-graduate thesis to beat the band.
Then again if the best brains in the world can’t come up with a definitive agreement on the nature and extent of global warming, maybe ‘home advantage’ is an area we should all just refrain from trying to fathom as well.
One thing is sure though that unless the Monaghan County Board wins its appeal to the Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA), the Oriel will find themselves without the ‘advantage’ of playing at home in the NFL this Sunday against Louth.
At the time of going to print, we don’t know whether the game will go ahead in the GAA Grounds, Drogheda (2.30pm) as the Louth County Board has already posted.
Monaghan were ordered by the Central Hearings Committee to forfeit home advantage for the March 11th derby clash after appealing their original fine to the Central Appeals Committee (CAC) following the brawl at half-time in the recent NFL game against Kildare at Clones.
The match was originally set for Clones but after Monaghan contested the €5,000 fine proposed by the CCCC for their players’ part in a melee against Kildare, the Farney County were made to forfeit home advantage in their next scheduled league game.
Their appeal against this penalty was also unsuccessful. Quite rightly, Paul Curran and company, in conjunction with the senior county management team and other “stakeholders” decided that they wouldn’t let the matter rest there.

Unsurprisingly, those closest to the coalface in this business are the most animated.
Eamonn McEneaney, for one, has come out with all guns blazing and given the GAA’s legal eagles it between the eyes with both barrels.
The county supremo has insisted that Monaghan have been denied “natural justice and fair play” by the CHC and has suggested that the ruling is not backed up by the necessary legal powers:
“It’s not mentioned in the Official Guide, from 7.4 – 7.9 and the defined forms of penalty. Forfeiting home advantage is not in that,” he was quoted in a national newspaper recently.
“They have introduced something that has not had a precedent in the GAA for county teams. The national league has its own balance with a number of games at home and away. That natural balance has seriously changed in our regard, with two at home and five away.
“That breaches natural justice and fair play. In terms of changing a venue for an intercounty fixture, as far as I was aware, the only people with the remit to do that are Central Council or CCCC.
“If you buy the season ticket, you buy it on the basis of three home and four …

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