Final has lost it’s Appeal
The inaugural Ulster U20 Championship final a curtain raiser to the Ulster Senior Final between Donegal and Fermanagh has lost it’s appeal especially in the eyes of Armagh players, management and supporters.
The decision of the Ulster Council to suspend a total of 17 players from both Armagh and Tyrone following a mass melee and pitch invasion which marred a terrific double extra-time encounter at the Athletic Grounds eventually won by the hosts who now face Derry in Sunday’s final.
Peter McDonnell the Armagh manager would have faced a difficult time trying to plot the Derry downfall with a full strength team at his disposal but now must do so without 10 players following what is seen as an over the top and knee jerk reaction by the powers that be.
Whilst in no way trying to condone the scenes witnessed at the match the punishment in this case is certainly very severe and harsh when one takes into account how the same body has responded with more leniency to more major indiscretions in the past.
Here are 17 of the most promising players in our game taking the rap for previous failings and are now chosen to be made an example of. For the Armagh 10 they are being deprived of participating in an Ulster final as they followed the norm which is wrongly part of modern young culture of”one in all in when it comes to a row”
Having witnessed the scenes myself one wonders as to how 17 were singled out as by my eyesight (which is poor) and my mathematics (which are good) there were a lot more bodies than 17 involved.
At the time of going to press the understanding is that Armagh have launched an appeal the outcome of which will be very interesting in terms of how Armagh will be able to approach Sunday’s final.