The Laois senior footballers are facing the prospect of having the play their Leinster championship quarter final without their captain.
Portlaoise midfielder Kieran Lillis was shown a straight red card in the closing moments of Saturday’s crazy Division 2 encounter with Fermanagh.
In the 64th minute, Lillis committed a foul on Fermanagh substitute Danny Teague.
After consultation with his fellow officials, referee Fergal Kelly brandished a straight red card to Lillis.
Laois were down to 14 men and trailed by 1-11 to 0-9 at the time before two Gary Walsh goals and a third from Paul Kingston saw them turn the game around incredibly.
The win meant that Laois stayed up in Division 2 at the expense of Cavan and Fermanagh – but the cost of the win could harm Laois’s championship ambitions.
Mike Quirke’s charges lost experienced midfielder John O’Loughlin to injury in the first half and he will be in a race against time to be fit to face either Louth or Longford in 11 days time.
And to compound matters, Laois also face losing Lillis as the rules regarding suspension mean his one match ban would have to be served in Laois’s next game.
Laois are awaiting the referee’s report on the incident but a straight red card is an automatic one match ban.
Lillis is likely to be charged with either a Category 1, 2 or 3 infringement and Rule 7.2 B (2, 1) in the Official Guide sets out what is likely to happen.
The rule says: “Arising from the National League, the InterCounty Senior Championship or from a combination of both Competitions (all in the same Code), the above Penalties shall be substituted by:
“(1) Minimum: A One Match Suspension in the same Code and at the same Level applicable to the next game in the combination of the National League/Inter-County Senior Championship, even if the game occurs in the following year.”
Laois, of course, will have the option of appealing whatever suspension is handed down to Lillis.
And it is understood they are awaiting the referee’s report before deciding what action to take next.
Correction: This article originally stated that Patrick McGuire was the referee of the game in question. It was in fact Fergal Kelly.