Grimley stands his ground over Laois allegations

Conor McKeon

UNDER-fire Armagh selector, Paul Grimley, is standing by his claims that a Laois player was warned by both the referee and a linesman about his behavior in last Sunday's fraught NFL Division 1 clash in O'Moore Park as the sectarian row rumbles on.

Grimley - who faces an eight-week ban for confronting Sligo official, Michael Duffy at half-time after Ciarán McKeever's sending off - also accused stewards in Portlaoise of "causing trouble" and will contest the punishment as a result.

"I will contest the eight-week ban - threatening behaviour - because they're going to have to produce evidence," Grimley insisted. "When I went over to the referee I said to him: 'you never answered my question' (on his decision to red card Ciarán McKeever).

"The stewards then flocked around me. Then it was seen that I was threatening the referee.

"Their stewards have caused trouble in the past. I told one of them to take their hands of me. If the GAA thinks I'm going to stand around and suck it up, it's not going to happen."

The GAA insisted in a statement released yesterday that there had been "no indication of claims of taunts and remarks towards Armagh players in last weekend's Allianz Football League game ... provided by the Armagh County Board to the GAA at central level to date," but Grimley maintains that the officials on duty had been aware of what was going on. "It became known to me," he added, "that a Laois player had been warned a number of times by the linesman and the referee to 'catch himself on and quit that kind of carry-on'.

MONAGHAN failed in their appeal last night to overturn the decision of the Central Hearings Committee to force them to play Sunday's Division 2 clash with Galway at a neutral venue.

The Central Appeals Committee decided to uphold the CHC's decision to deprive the Farney men of home advantage as punishment for their part in the melee which broke out at half-time in their recent victory over Kildare in Clones.

The matter was referred back to the CHC from the Disputes Resolution Authority after they overturned the initial decision to hand home advantage to Monaghan's then next opponents, Louth on March 9, but unless they mount a second DRA bid, it looks likely that Sunday's match will go ahead in Pearse Park, Longford.

EOGHAN O'GARA could be set for a four-week stint out of action after undergoing a scan on the groin injury which ruled him out of last Sunday's League trip to Newry.

As it stands, O'Gara looks set to miss this Saturday's Croke Park clash with Donegal (7.15) and could also be ruled out of the way trips to face Mayo and Cork. However, should the Dubs reach their semi-final the big Templeogue Synge St full-foward is expected back in action.