by John Fallon
A breakthrough is expected this week in the impasse which has held up the Galway SHC title in a dispute over the eligibility of a player.
The chairman of Galway county committee, Pat Kearney, said he is hopeful that a decision will be forthcoming soon from the Dispute Resolutions Authority and that the title race can resume.
The row centres around whether Turloughmore fielded an ineligible player, US-bound Jamie Holland, when they defeated Portumna in June.
Turloughmore finished ahead of Portumna in their pool but if they are docked points for the victory, then they will not qualify for the knockout stages.
Instead, three time All-Ireland champions Portumna will advance. The case has been before the Connacht Council, having twice been referred back to the Galway authorities, and it has now gone to the DRA after the provincial body ruled against Turloughmore.
The closing date for submissions to the DRA is today (TUES) and Galway officials are hopeful that a decision will then be forthcoming later in the week, although chairman Kearney said the title race was not far behind schedule.
"We haven't really lost time at this stage. It will take four weekends to finish the championship. Aside from being in the All-Ireland final, there are other factors such as having dual players which have to be taken into account.
"There hasn't yet been a major delay. If you look at Mayo, there are only at quarter-final stage at this point in their football championship. What we are hoping for at this stage is that the DRA will meet later this week and make a decision and we will move on from there. We can't do anything until we have that decision," he said.
Already into the quarter-finals are the four pool winners: Liam Mellows, Craughwell, Sarsfields and Gort, while another eight teams will meet in the preliminary quarter-finals to join the four group winners.
Castlegar, Kilnadeema/Leitrim, Cappataggle, Tommy Larkins, St Thomas, Killimordaly and Clarinbridge, as well as either Portumna or Turloughmore will take part in the preliminary quarter-finals.