Armagh trio's Cavan match brawl appeals are unsuccessful

Young members of a band were ushered to safety as players of Armagh and Cavan fought before the match
Young members of a band were ushered to safety as players of Armagh and Cavan fought before the match

The three Armagh footballers handed one-match bans following the mass brawl at the recent Ulster SFC game against Cavan have failed to get their suspensions overturned.

Andy Mallon, Brendan Donaghy and Kieran Toner had appeals heard by the GAA's Central Hearings Committee on Friday.

A Croke Park statement said that the discipline breaches had been "proven".

As it stands, the trio are set to miss Armagh's Ulster semi-final against Monaghan on 28 June.

However, Armagh manager Paul Grimley has indicated that the county will launch a further appeal to the Disputes Resolution Authority.

Armagh are also likely to be without Caolan Rafferty in the Monaghan game after he sustained a suspected broken hand in training on Thursday evening.

Mallon and Donaghy are experienced members of the Armagh defence while Toner started at midfield against Cavan.

The Armagh trio were among five players handed one-game suspensions for their part in the mass brawl which broke out during the pre-match parade at the Athletic Grounds.

Mallon and Donaghy were both charged with "striking with hand and behaving in any way which is dangerous to an opponent" while Toner was adjudged to have "attempted to strike with the hand".

Donaghy, Toner and Mallon were banned along with Cavan's Martin Dunne and Fergal Flanagan although the Breffni county duo opted not to appeal against their suspensions.

The CCCC also fined both counties 5000 euro following the incident.

The pre-match trouble at Armagh's Athletic Grounds came after players disagreed over the positioning of the counties' flags for the traditional parade around the ground.

It took about two minutes for order to be restored and young band members had to be shepherded to safety as fists flew.

The referee Marty Duffy did not take any action against any players at the time.

Cavan forward Dunne, one of the players banned, suffered suspected multiple hand and wrist fractures in the brawl and was unable to play in the game.

Dunne's injury means he will have been unlikely to feature in Cavan's All-Ireland qualifier against Westmeath next weekend but Flanagan will be banned for that game.

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