By John Fogarty
Laois’ involvement in the All-Ireland senior football championship may be in jeopardy because of the number of substitutes they used in their All-Ireland SFC Round 1A qualifier win over Armagh on Saturday.
Mick Lillis made seven replacements, one more than the permitted number of six, when Shane Murphy came on for Brendan Quigley as a black card substitute in the 73rd minute with less than 60 seconds of time remaining. However, as Laois had used their full complement of subs they should not have been permitted to replace him.
None of Laois’s six previous personnel switches were blood replacements, which would have explained why they were permitted to introduce seven new players. Their first substitute accrued in the 43rd minute when Alan Farrell came in for Darren Strong. Jamie Farrell was then introduced for Kevin Meaney in the 50th minute followed by Matthew Campion for Niall Donoher in the 52nd minute.
David Conway made way for Ross Munnelly in the 54th minute and Gary Walsh appeared in place of Paul Cahillane in the 58th minute. Gareth Dillon was brought on instead of Conor Meredith in the 70th minute before Murphy replaced Quigley in additional time.
RTE’s footage of the game also appears to show Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney attempting to raise an issue with the linesman as Murphy entered the field in the final minute of action.
Should Laois be found to have used more than their maximum number of substitutes, the GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee may decide to award the game to Armagh.
Laois were this morning drawn away to Clare in Round 2A the weekend after next.