Laois agree to replay qualifier against Armagh

Kieren McGeeney’s Armagh win reprieve following replacements blunder at O’Moore Park

Jamie Farrell of Laois celebrates scoring a point against Armagh. Photo: Tom Beary/Inpho

Jamie Farrell of Laois celebrates scoring a point against Armagh. Photo: Tom Beary/Inpho

 

Laois and Armagh will now play each other all over again after the GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) ordered a replay of their All-Ireland football qualifier - that game fixed for Saturday week, back in Portlaoise.

Laois emerged three-point winners in Saturday’s original fixture, only for it to later emerge the county had fielded a seventh replacement during the course of that win - one more that the permitted six.

The CCCC examined evidence of the game on Monday evening, later consulting with both counties, and Croke Park have since issued the following statement: “Following an enquiry from the CCCC arising from the Round 1A Football qualifier between Laois v Armagh on Saturday June 18th, it has been confirmed that one extra substitute was used by Laois in error.

“CCCC have proposed, in accordance with rule, that this game should be replayed on Saturday July 2nd at 3.0 in Portlaoise. Laois have accepted this proposal.”

The executive of the Laois county board also called a special meeting in Portlaoise to examine the matter, and were left with little option but to accept the replay: the sanctions for playing too many substitutes range from forfeiture to a replay to a fine.

The rule book specifies that only six replacements may be brought on in football unless a blood substitute is among them. Having made six substitutions, Laois manager Mick Lillis is seen (the match was broadcast live on RTE) to bring on Shane Murphy with 60 seconds left in injury-time as a replacement for Brendan Quigley, who had received a black card.

RTE’s footage of the game also appeared to show Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney attempting to raise the issue with the linesman, as Murphy entered the field, in the final minute of action.

During the remaining time Ross Munnelly scored the insurance point, to put Laois three ahead, 1-10 to 0-10, the final score.

GAA rules state that potential penalties for breach of the rule include: “award of game to the opposing team, or replay, or fine, depending on the circumstances”, although the CCCC were in favour of the game being replayed.

According to the GAA’s rules, it is also the duty of the sideline official to “record and report all substitutions and temporary substitutions made during a game to the referee for inclusion in the match report”.

Laois were originally down to play Clare in Round 2A on Saturday week in Ennis, but given the replay is now fixed for Saturday week, whoever does emerge will now play Clare the following Saturday, July 9th.

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