THE proposals of the Hurling Development Committee (HDC) were carried at the GAA's Annual Congress here yesterday as delegates voted overwhelmingly in favour of them, despite the expected opposition from Cork, Kilkenny and Antrim.

Cork and Kilkenny did their best to prevent the proposals reaching the floor, voting against the enabling motion that was needed to overturn a rule made last year. But they stood alone ? the two-thirds majority needed was carried without a problem.

Once the proposals were put to the floor, support for them became clear among traditional hurling counties such as Tipperary and Galway as well as most of those from weaker areas. After contributions from all sections of the floor, the vote was carried.

"We were very hopeful coming down here today and it turned out well in the end for us, " said HDC member Ger Loughnane afterwards.

"The real changes aren't to do with the stronger counties, they are to be seen in the second- and third-tier teams. It gives the players in those counties an incentive." Earlier, the Games Administration Committee upheld the suspensions of Tyrone footballer Stephen O'Neill and Kerry's Eamon Fitzmaurice.