Tyrone may face sanctions over student call-up

Updated: Thursday, 14 Jun 2007 16:03

Mickey Harte named four college players in his side that faced Derry
Mickey Harte named four college players in his side that faced Derry

Ulster Council chairman Micheal Greenan has given the strongest indication to date that Tyrone may face sanction over manager Mickey Harte's decision to use four 'ineligible' college players in Sunday's Dr McKenna Cup tie against Derry.

Greenan attended the game in Omagh, where three UUJ players and one from St Mary's were in the Red Hands' starting line-up, in breach of competition regulations which state that the universities have first call on inter-county players.

And he said the provincial council may call a special meeting this week to deal with the issue. 'That's a possibility. They're not due to meet, but that doesn't mean that they won't meet,' said Greenan.

UUJ trio Colm Cavanagh, Brendan Boggs and Damien McCaul were all in the Tyrone side, along with Cathal McCarron of St Mary's, despite warnings that their inclusion in the squad was breaching competition regulations.

'The Ulster Council position is that they have broken the regulations, and we'll have to see what to do,' said Greenan.

'It's not a matter for me, it's a matter for the council to deal with, and the council will deal with it.'

But the provincial council chief declined to express a personal view on the controversy. 'My view is immaterial, it's the council. Whatever view the council take, that's the view we will have to take.'

Tyrone are due to meet Cavan in the final and decisive Group B tie under lights at Breffni Park this weekend, with the winners going through to the semi-finals

There's also a possibility that both sides could go through to the last four, with a new format offering a semi-final place to the fourth best team overall from the group stages.

Any decision by the Ulster Council to punish Tyrone for their actions could affect their bid to win the McKenna Cup for a fourth successive year.

But Red Hand manager Mickey Harte has stood by his decision to select the players concerned, insisting that they have made themselves available for selection to him rather than to the colleges they attend.

'The players made that decision. They were asked where did they want to go, and they chose Tyrone,' said Harte.