Laois facing replay with Armagh after seven subs blunder
Laois may have to replay their first-round Qualifier win over Armagh after it emerged that they used seven substitutes on Saturday.
The introduction of Shane Murphy for the black-carded Brendan Quigley, with less than a minute of injury-time remaining, was the seventh substitute introduced, and the GAA's Central Competition Controls Committee (CCCC) were investigating last night.
The potential anomaly, on top of the Cavan/Tyrone Ulster semi-final replay, has delayed the release of the Round 2A Qualifier fixtures.
Laois scored a point from Ross Munnelly while Murphy was on the field to win by three points, 1-10 to 0-10. At the time of Murphy's introduction, Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney could be seen protesting to officials.
The GAA's rule 6.44 b (ii) states that a team which exceeds the number of substitutes allowed can forfeit a game, be forced to play a replay or be fined, depending on the circumstances. In this case a replay is thought most likely.
The GAA has not had too many substitution controversies in recent years, with the addition of a fourth official acting as a useful filter.
At one stage such errors were commonplace. McGeeney was a member of a Na Fianna side that lost a High Court case that they took when Dublin County Board ruled that they should forfeit after using six substitutes in a Dublin quarter-final against Raheny in 2002.
A year earlier Leinster Council granted a replay to Sarsfields after Na Fianna used six substitutes in their 3-11 to 1-8 Leinster club championship win. Technically Na Fianna should have forfeited and Croke Park was unhappy with the position the provincial body took.
Cork used six substitutes in their 1-23 to 0-7 Munster football final win over Tipperary in 2002 but avoided forfeiture when they were able to prove that there was no penalty specified in the rule-book.
Earlier that year Kildare drew with Sligo in the League but they lost the point when it was established that they used six substitutes.
Offaly avoided forfeiture of a Leinster quarter-final against Kildare in 2006 when Leinster Council ruled in their favour; the rules governing blood substitutes have changed since then.
Meanwhile there is deep dissatisfaction in Croke Park over the Ulster Council's decision to fix the Cavan/Tyrone replay for Sunday week. The extra week has the capacity to throw the 'A' section of qualifiers into chaos.
The losers were drawn yesterday to play Carlow in the second round, a game that should be taking place that very weekend.
CCCC have communicated their dissatisfaction to Ulster but the fixture is unlikely to be changed.
Thus, either Cavan and Tyrone could be involved over five consecutive weekends, if they are to reach All-Ireland quarter-finals through the back door. The replay date has been fixed for some time by Ulster Council.
There has been stern criticism of the six-day turnaround forced on Louth last weekend following their defeat by their manager Colin Kelly.
One of the reasons why the draws have been split into A and B sections was to allow for better streamlining between provincial championships and qualifiers so that six-day turnarounds could be avoided where possible and that club fixtures could have better advance planning.
Football Round 2A: Sligo v Leitrim, Clare v Laois, Cavan/Tyrone v Carlow, Derry v Meath/Dublin.
Hurling Round 1: Wexford v Offaly, Westmeath v Limerick, Clare v Laois, Cork v Dublin. All games will take place over the weekend of July 2/3.