Wednesday 19 September 2018

10 Armagh U-20s banned for Ulster decider following mass brawl after semi-final win over Tyrone

Armagh will be without ten players for their U-20 Ulster football final against Derry tomorrow week after being hit with suspensions following the ugly scenes which marred their semi-final victory over Tyrone. Photo: Sportsfile
Armagh will be without ten players for their U-20 Ulster football final against Derry tomorrow week after being hit with suspensions following the ugly scenes which marred their semi-final victory over Tyrone. Photo: Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Armagh will be without 10 players for their U-20 Ulster football final against Derry tomorrow week after being hit with suspensions following the ugly scenes which marred their semi-final victory over Tyrone.

Peter McDonnell's side came through 2-22 to 0-24 winners but a mass brawl left a very sour taste with four players - two from each side - sent off amid a disturbing series of events.

It is understood that six of the Orchard starting team and four substitutes have been banned with McDonnell indicating that they will appeal the decision.

"This is devastating," McDonnell told Gaelic Life.

"I'll tell you what it does - it just goes back to the Under-20s players being used as guinea pigs. Would this happen at senior inter-county level? No, they would just hone in on a couple of people at that level and make an example of them."

"The Under-20s final will be nothing more than a cosmetic exercise," insisted McDonnell.

Read more: McStay's grounds for optimism as Rossies seek glory at the Hyde

"The Central Competitions Control Committee has succeeded in demeaning it to nothing more than this. It will be no more than a warm-up exercise for Derry to move to the next level.

"To be playing in an Ulster final is a great bonus for these Armagh lads but look at how many of them will not now have this privilege," McDonnell added.

"I know that the melee took place and I'm certainly not condoning it in any shape or form. But it all stemmed from one rash incident on the part of a Tyrone player and it was a tinderbox.

"Armagh will be represented in the final all the same and the team will do everything in its power to win this first Ulster Under-20s final. Obviously we would just love to have our full team on duty but it does not look as if this will be possible."

Irish Independent

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