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Monday, 7 January, 2002, 18:12 GMT
St Pat's back on top
St Pat's manager Pat Dolan
St Pat's manager Pat Dolan will applaud the outcome

St Patrick's Athletic have gone to the top of the Eircom League after winning back the nine points they had docked earlier in the season.

The points had been deducted because St Pat's fielded an ineligible player in the first three games of the season.

The player Pat Marney's registration was invalid because it had been sent to the authorities through the ordinary post.

League rules stipulate that it should have been sent via registered post.

On Monday the independent arbitrator appointed by the Eircom League, Liam Reidy, replaced the FAI's points deduction with a fine of 1200 Euro.

It means Pat Dolan's St Pat's side are now two points clear at the top of the Eircom League, taking over from Dublin rivals Shelbourne.

Youth policy

Reidy, a barrister and chairman of Kilkenny City, said the league's rules had to be interpreted in the context of a sporting organisation.

Marney was a product of the youth policy at St Pat's. He had played for the club during the 2000-01 season and was contracted with them for the 2001-02 campaign.

The Saints were originally fined 1,000 Irish punts for the Marney mistake.

However, on appeal to the Football Association of Ireland they had the nine points deducted.

See also:

05 Jan 02 |  Northern Ireland
Derry fall to Bohemians
22 Nov 01 |  Northern Ireland
Shels get shirty with Derry
03 Nov 01 |  Northern Ireland
Derry rule out Irish League return
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