Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Armagh trio want urgent conclusion to appeals

Andy Mallon is facing a one-match ban
Andy Mallon is facing a one-match ban

The Armagh county board is confronted by a bitter-sweet scenario as it comes to terms with the punitive action taken by the Central Competitions Control Committee in the wake of the pre-match flare-up that marred last Sunday's game against Cavan in the Ulster Championship.

As things stand, key defenders Andy Mallon, Brendan Donaghy and Kieran Toner, who are facing one-match bans, could miss the semi-final against either Tyrone or Monaghan if their appeals to the Hearings Committee do not result in the bans being rescinded.

Armagh officials are anxious to see the see the appeals process take place as quickly as possible.

County PRO Raymond Kerins said: "Our three players on whom one-match bans have been proposed are extremely disappointed with this course of action. They are most anxious that they should get an opportunity to appeal against their sanctions as soon as possible.

"Not only do they wish to have the bans rescinded if at all possible but they are particularly keen for the way to be paved for the whole focus to switch to our forthcoming semi-final tie in the Ulster Championship."

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Boylesports Bookmakers, owned by Armagh native John Boyle, will pay the €5,000 fine proposed on the Armagh county board.

A similar penalty was imposed on the Cavan board.

A spokesperson for the Armagh board said: "The Management Committee of Armagh GAA would like to thank John Boyle and Boylesports for helping us out of this financial predicament.

"Now that the fine has been paid, we can focus solely on football matters."

The punishments meted out impact more strongly on Armagh as the county is still in the hunt for the Ulster title and could be denied an invaluable raft of experience for their semi-final while Cavan have lost two players, Martin Dunne and Feargal Flanagan, for their All-Ireland qualifier with Westmeath.

Dunne missed the game against Armagh because of a serious hand injury sustained in the pre-match fracas and would be unavailable to face Westmeath anyway, while Feargal Flanagan will also be an absentee as the indications in advance of last night's Cavan board meeting were that he might not appeal his one-match ban.

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