Justin McNulty questions Armagh’s appetite for replay

Former Armagh defender and Laois manager Justin McNulty says “nobody can have any complaints” after the decision to refix the counties’ qualifier after Laois made too many substitutes last Saturday.

McNulty, who was in O’Moore Park for the game, was informed Laois had asked the fourth official prior to bringing on Shane Murphy as a black card replacement for Brendan Quigley in the 73rd minute.

“Rules are rules and Laois made a little bit of a technical error in relation to substitutions. 

“I believe they sought clarification from the fourth official before making that final substitution and he gave them the go-ahead.

“They made that decision in good faith thinking they were well within the rules.

“I don’t think the blame should be put at anybody’s door. It’s just one of those things that happens and you move on and you face the consequences and Laois have been prepared to do that. I guess it’s manna from heaven for Armagh.”

At the same time, McNulty has questioned Armagh’s desire for the July 2 game at this moment in time given Kieran McGeeney will be without a number of players. 

“Some of them are at the Euros and they’ve picked up injuries. Mark Shiels has gone with a broken hand, Ciarán McKeever actually broke his foot last night (Tuesday) playing with Parnells in Dublin and James Morgan has gone for a long-standing operation so those are three key defenders out. 

“It’s hard to gauge whether Armagh have the appetite for this game or not. It’s going to be a huge challenge to bring things back together after the disappointment of the defeat to Laois.

“But it’s exciting for observers and supporters and it creates a different dynamic and energy in the qualifiers that maybe hasn’t been there.

“Whoever comes out on top, it will stand them in good stead for the games ahead. 

“It’s a huge positive for the GAA even though it’s come from a technical mistake because there’s a whole new interest in this game.”

Meanwhile, Neil McGee’s two-game ban has been upheld by the Central Hearings Committee. Unless he appeals, the Donegal defender will miss Saturday’s Ulster semi-final against Monaghan in Cavan.

The Gweedore man’s one-match ban for being sent off against Fermanagh was doubled as he had picked up a ban for an infringement in the same category when dismissed against Kerry in Austin Stack Park earlier this year.


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