Laois-Armagh replay has ‘big implications’

Clare manager Colm Collins says the decision to refix the Laois-Armagh qualifier has “big implications” for the ‘A’ side of the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers.

Laois-Armagh replay has ‘big implications’

The Banner County were set to face Laois in Ennis on Saturday week but the Central Competition Control Committee (CCCC) yesterday confirmed Laois and Armagh will face each other again in Portlaoise at 3pm that day after the home side were found to have used one substitute too many.

Clare must now wait until July 9 and will be in action right through next month if they are to make the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

“We just have to refocus and get our ducks in order,” said Collins last night. “There’s nothing we can do about it and nothing that can be said will change anything. Let’s see what happens but what’s for sure it has big implications for the rest of the competition.”

Prior to the rescheduling, Clare’s footballers and hurlers were set for a double-header in Cusack Park. Collins confirmed he and Davy Fitzgerald had come to an arrangement regarding the availability of Collins’ son Podge but admitted those plans are now up in the air following the postponement of the Round 2A SFC qualifier.

As expected, Laois’ use of Shane Murphy as a black card substitute for Brendan Quigley in additional time on Saturday was ruled out of order by the CCCC.

In a press release yesterday evening, they stated: “Following an enquiry from the CCCC arising from the Round 1A Football Qualifier between Laois v Armagh on Saturday June 18, it has been confirmed that one extra substitute was used by Laois in error. CCCC have proposed in accordance with rule, that this game should be replayed on Saturday July 2 at 3.0 in Portlaoise. Laois have accepted this proposal.”

Although Saturday’s 1-10 to 0-10 has technically been deemed null and void because of Murphy’s introduction, John O’Loughlin has been deemed to have satisfied his one-match suspension in missing the game and will be available on Saturday week. In 2012, the CCCC agreed former Dublin midfielder Eamon Fennell had served a one-match ban in the abandoned Division 1 game against Mayo in Castlebar.

While Sligo and Leitrim’s round 2A qualifier goes ahead in Markievicz Park on Saturday week (6pm), the other three games on that side of the draw will now take place on July 9 or 10, meaning the losers of this Sunday’s Leinster semi-final between Dublin and Meath will be afforded an extra week’s break before having to travel to Derry yet the same allowance was not extended to Louth who went out to Derry last weekend six days after defeat to Meath in their Leinster quarter-final. However, Derry are understood to be angry about the rescheduling, which will have an effect on their club fixtures.

Despite strong opposition from the CCCC, the Ulster Council’s plans to replay the Cavan-Tyrone game in Clones on Sunday week has been confirmed. The losers will be home to Carlow also on July 9.

The winners of those games will be in action against each other on the weekend of July 16 with the victors going through to fourth round qualifiers against the Munster and Connacht runners-up on July 23. If any of the six teams are to reach the All-Ireland quarter-finals, they will have to play five games in as many weeks.

Meanwhile, the times for Saturday week’s first round of the All-Ireland SHC qualifiers were also confirmed.

Cork and Dublin’s clash in Páirc Uí Rinn Saturday week will throw in at 7pm and be televised by Sky Sports.

Clare’s match with Laois takes place in Cusack Park also at 7pm. RTÉ will show live coverage of Wexford and Offaly’s game in Innovate Wexford Park at 3.30pm with the Westmeath-Limerick meeting in TEG Cusack Park commencing at 5pm.

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