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Dromintee reject the blame over shadow side uproar

By Declan Bogue

Dromintee have put forward their version of events in relation to their farcical Armagh Senior Championship quarter-final last Friday, when a number of 'players' included a middle-aged man wearing jeans and boots.

In a statement issued by members of the senior panel, they placed the blame on the Competitions Control Committee of the Armagh county board.

The statement read: "We were faced with the prospect of a direct clash with a family wedding within the team that included two brothers in the bridal party and nine players.

"Representations were made to the Armagh CCC after our first round qualifier to avoid a clash before provisional fixtures were set in stone. Any possible date bar the one chosen would have met our request. No accommodation was made."

The club claim that several efforts were made in the following days to ask for the fixture to be moved, to no avail.

It lead to a bizarre scene where none of the Dromintee side would contest for the ball, and Crossmaglen soon scored 1-8. After some consultation, joint managers Oisín McConville and John McEntee took their players to the other side of the field to conduct a running session.

The statement also mentioned the possible threat of punishment if they refused to field, stating: "The club had been placed in a difficult position and we understand the steps the committee took to preserve our status and to protect the other teams in the club."

The Armagh county board released a statement on Friday night on their Facebook page that read: "Armagh County Board would like to apologise to patrons who travelled to the Armagh Athletic Grounds for the scheduled senior Championship quarter-final fixture between Dromintee and Crossmaglen Rangers.

"Dromintee informed the County Board at 7.00pm on Friday, the evening of the game, that they could only field a weakened team due to the unavailability of its senior panel."

County board PRO Raymond Kieran confirmed there will be no further comment on the matter.

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