As it was confirmed that Mayo’s first three replacements were blood substitutes, GAA national match officials manager Pat Doherty said there was “absolutely” no issue with the amount of interchanges.
However, according to Irish Examiner columnist John Bannon, there was no clear TV evidence that Lee Keegan, Mayo’s first temporary substitute, had shed blood.
Rule 1.5 (b) states that “a player who is bleeding or who has blood on any part of his body, playing attire or playing equipment, as a result of an injury sustained during play, shall on the instruction of the referee, immediately leave the field of play to receive medical and/or other attention”.
Keegan was temporarily replaced in the 15th minute by Richie Feeney but never returned to the field after being sent to hospital with his finger injury.
Mayo’s second interchange was also a blood substitute when Enda Varley was taken off, with Alan Freeman coming on. Varley didn’t finish the game.
In the 55th minute, Colm Boyle came in as Mayo’s third blood substitute, this time for Kevin McLoughlin, who came back on in the 69th minute.
Mayo manager James Horan said: “I think it was three or four blood subs. The secretary of the county board is the man to talk to. He was the man scribbling on the paper.
“We’d a huge amount of blood, we’d an awful lot of knocks and bangs.”
Mayo’s first straight forward substitute was made in the 61st minute when Jason Gibbons came in at the expense of Feeney.
Four minutes later, Shane McHale was introduced for the injured Kevin Keane before McLoughlin and Seamus O’Shea came in for Jason Doherty and Aidan O’Shea respectively.
Peadar Gardiner was Mayo’s final straight forward substitute six minutes into injury-time when he was swapped for Freeman.