Saturday 25 November 2017

Qualifier schedule thrown into disarray as Laois v Armagh replay gets a date after subs debacle

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Laois and Armagh will replay their All-Ireland first round qualifier in Portlaoise on Saturday week, July 2, after agreement was reached in the wake of the latest substitution controversy.

The GAA's Central Competition Controls Committee ordered the replay after it emerged that Laois, who won the game by 1-10 to 0-10, had introduced a seventh substitute, Shane Murphy, for the black-carded Brendan Quigley deep into injury time.

They had already used their quota of six substitutes by that stage, none of which were understood to have been blood substitutes.

The error was only established on Monday and, after more than a day of negotiations between the counties, it was decided to fix the game for Saturday week in Portlaoise, (3pm)

There were initial indications that Armagh would be reluctant to replay the fixture having lost, with some of their players apparently planning holidays.

But Armagh are believed to have subsequently felt that there was an obligation on them to play the fixture.

CCCC had the option of making Laois forfeit the game or issuing a fine but were mindful of the precedent either option would have set.

Laois were due to play Clare in Ennis in the second round of the qualifiers on Saturday week but after an executive meeting tonight, agreed to play. The winners of the replay will now play Clare on the weekend of Saturday/Sunday July 9/10.

The suspended John O'Loughlin is expected to be eligible to play as the rule governing the use of more than the permitted substitutions clearly stipulates that it's a replay, not a rematch.

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