KILMACRENNAN Celtic have been crowned champions of the Donegal League Premier Division after a successful appeal against a points deduction.
The Ulster Football Association has upheld an appeal from Kilmacrennan Celtic and the Lurgysiders are the champions for the 2019/20 season.
The decision means that Kilmacrennan Celtic have pipped Cappry Rovers to the League title. Both clubs’ League campaign has already concluded.
A statement form the Donegal Junior League today said: “We have just been informed by the UFA that the Appeal of Kilmacrennan Celtic regarding the playing of one of their players in a League Match has been upheld.
“Therefore the result of their match against Cranford United stands as on the day and Kilmacrennan Celtic will not be deducted the points as previously decided by the Donegal League Disciplinary Committee.
“Taking this into account Kilmacrennan Celtic are the Brian Mc Cormick Sports Premier Division Champions 2019/2020 with a total of 43 points.”
The statement suggests that the Donegal Junior League – the other party in the Ulster FA hearing – will not appeal the decision to the FAI.
Initially, Kilmacrennan Celtic were docked points from the 3-2 win over Cranford FC on August 9 by the Donegal League’s disciplinary committee.
A protest was lodged alleging that Kilmacrennan played a player who should have been serving a suspension, following a red card in a game the previous Sunday in a 1-1 draw with Kildrum Tigers.
A 3-0 win was awarded to Cranford by the League’s disciplinary body, but Kilmacrennan – who have been steadfast in their belief that they had acted correctly all through the unfortunate saga – lodged an appeal to the provincial body.
Sources within the club suggested that the green light was given to play the player in question against Cranford.
In a statement this afternoon, Kilmacrennan Celtic said: “Kilmacrennan Celtic FC welcome the decision by the Ulster FA and are thrilled at being confirmed as Brian McCormick Premier Division Champions for season 2019/20.
“We would offer our commiserations to Cranford FC and Cappry Rovers, who are both directly affected by today’s decision. Cappry Rovers have proven to be a tough opponent and will rightly feel disappointed.
“However, Kilmacrennan Celtic FC are champions on merit and the recent controversy around this should not detract from the achievements of our Management and Players, who are deserving of their accolade.
“Many thanks to our various sponsors and supporters for your efforts over the past season, this is never taken for granted and helps to bring us all to days like today.”