Belfast Telegraph

Success stories taking a back seat once again

By Scott Young

From Glenavon's magnificent Irish Cup win over Linfield to a relegation eligibility wrangle, the Irish League never ceases to serve up drama and farce in equal measure.

There might be some people out there who don't feel sorry for Carrick Rangers boss Gary Haveron right now, but I'm not one of them.

The threat of relegation hangs over the club once more if Gary has not properly served a three-match ban.

I can understand Warrenpoint Town's frustration and how aggrieved they feel after the way they were relegated following that controversial penalty awarded to Dungannon Swifts. They will, inevitably, explore every avenue that could lead to retaining their Premiership status.

But in this instance I feel that relegating Carrick Rangers is wrong and would not be in the spirit of the game.

It would be different if Gary did not serve his three-match ban, but he did. It just appears that he should not have been in the dugout for Carrick's win over Dungannon Swifts.

I think relegating Carrick over this mistake would send out the wrong message. After escaping relegation, Gary stated that if he failed to keep the Gers in the top-flight he would resign and now after thinking his club are safe he's faced with this nightmare.

I just feel Carrick would rightly feel absolutely devastated to be relegated over a misinterpretation regarding the touchline ban.

If the Irish League is to have credibility and move forward we've got to get rid of these errors.

It's a farcical end to the season and a real shame because the players, managers and backroom staff devote a lot of time into a part-time set-up, they don't get paid a king's ransom and give us brilliant entertainment but then these eligibility issues hold us back.

I was a Glentoran player when the Andy Kilmartin registration saga erupted and the team were docked 12 points and dropped to the bottom of the league but then managed to win the appeal.

When these issues flare up you just feel sorry for the players and the fans.

We should be talking about Glenavon's Irish Cup final victory and Crusaders' historic back-to-back title wins.

They have been the two outstanding clubs for me this campaign and the Crues have made a statement of intent by signing the four boys Michael Gault, David Cushley, Howard Beverland and Philip Lowry.

What Gary Hamilton has achieved with Glenavon is unbelievable. I've heard him thank everyone at the club from the board, chairman and backroom staff to his players. Well, all those people should be thanking Gary.

Chairman Adrian Teer must be the happiest man on the planet right now and if Gary can recruit well over the summer, they can be even stronger next season.

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