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Axed ace McGourty hits out at his board

By Coilin Duffy

Antrim senior footballer CJ McGourty has hit out at GAA officials in the county after he and his brother Kieran, along with Conor Burke, were axed from the Saffrons line-up for the historic win over Laois after featuring in a club hurling game on Friday night.

The trio were only made aware that they had been dropped while on the bus to Saturday's game after lining out for St Gall's in an Antrim Senior Hurling League game the previous evening.

Both McGourtys and Burke were needed to make up the numbers for the relegation battle with Clooney Gaels, which St Gall's won by two points.

"It left us in a bit of a position as the county board wouldn't call the game off," CJ said.

"We tried to get it off. The club secretary and the county manager were liaising with everyone, but the county board just wouldn't call it off. It was a relegation battle and we had to play - it was as simple as that.

"We had 17 players and two of them were minors."

CJ McGourty said that St Gall's club members will be meeting soon to decide on their next course of action, with other members having been forced to choose between club and county in recent days, including Antrim minor CJ McKenna.

"During the week the U21 hurling semi-final was meant to be on, and it was asking boys like Conor Burke, who is also on the Antrim senior football team, but didn't start against Laois, to play five games in seven days," he said.

"That's shocking for the Antrim County Board to do that. I don't want to go into too much depth about it. It was a very good result for Antrim against Laois, but at the end of the day there are things that aren't right in the county.

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