Three Armagh players have appeals against bans rejected

Armagh players Andy Mallon, Brendan Donaghy and Kieran Toner have had their appeals against one-match bans rejected by the GAA's Central Appeals Committee.

They will miss the Orchard County's Ulster Championship semi-final against Monaghan on Saturday night.

The suspensions were imposed as a result of the pre-match fighting at the quarter-final between Armagh and Cavan on 8 June.

The banned trio can make further pleas to the Disputes Resolution Authority.

Mallon, Donaghy and Toner had initial appeals heard by the GAA's Central Hearings Committee last Friday but the suspensions were all upheld.

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

Paul Grimley says his Armagh players 'didn't cross line' in Athletic Grounds brawl

Mallon and Donaghy were both charged with "striking with hand and behaving in any way which is dangerous to an opponent" while Toner received his ban for "attempting to strike with the hand".

Armagh are also likely to be without Caolan Rafferty in the Monaghan game after he sustained a suspected broken hand in training last week

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.

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.

Aaron Kernan looks an obvious choice to be drafted into the Armagh defence to replace one of the suspended backs although the Crossmaglen man has been pushing hard for a starting role anyway.

Stephen Harold will be favourite to replace Toner in midfield with Gary McCooey and Finian Moriarty among the contenders to slot into the defence and Tony Kernan the obvious choice to be drafted in place of injury Rafferty.

Last year Monaghan beat Antrim, Cavan and All-Ireland champions Donegal to clinch the Ulster title for the first time since 1988.

They qualified for this year's semi-final by beating Tyrone by a single point in an exciting game at Clones.

If Monaghan get past Paul Grimley's Armagh on Saturday, the provincial final will be a repeat of 2013 as Donegal sealed their place last weekend by beating Antrim.

Monaghan named an unchanged team for the semi-final on Thursday night.

Monaghan: Rory Beggan; Kieran Duffy, Drew Wylie, Colin Walshe; Dessie Mone, Vinny Corey, Fintan Kelly; Dick Clerkin, Darren Hughes; Ryan Wylie, Chris Mc Guinness, Paudie McKenna; Dermot Malone, Kieran Hughes, Conor McManus.