By Jackie Cahill
Tipperary goalkeeper Evan Comerford has been handed a whopping 12-week suspension following an incident in a club game last week.
The Premier County’s Competitions Control Committee (CCC) proposed the ban at an emergency meeting on Monday evening.
Kilsheelan-Kilcash clubman Comerford was reported by referee Paddy Russell for ‘minor physical interference’ after he was red-carded against JK Brackens.
Comerford (22) was sent off by Russell following a dispute over the awarding of a free – and now looks set to pay a heavy price.
Russell, who refereed the 1990 and 1995 All-Ireland finals, also reported Kilsheelan-Kilcash manager David Power for comments made after the game.
Former Wexford senior boss Power, who guided Tipperary to All-Ireland minor glory in 2011, has received a four-week ban.
Kilsheelan-Kilcash will study the contents of Russell’s match report before deciding whether to take the case to the county's Hearings Committee.
The nature of Comerford's infraction means that his suspension applies across all codes and levels.
The ban is back-dated to May 23, the date of the incident, and won’t expire until August 15.
He would be free for a possible All-Ireland semi-final appearance but Tipperary would have to get there if Comerford has any chance, as things stand, of playing inter-county football this summer.
The news comes as a hammer blow to Tipperary manager Liam Kearns, who bases much of his game-plan around Comerford’s ability to deliver pin-point kick-outs.
Comerford enjoyed a brilliant 2016 season and was nominated for an All-Star award.
But as things stand, Tipp will have to plan without him for the entire summer, unless there’s another historic march to the last four of the All-Ireland series.
Tipperary's substitute goalkeeper Ciaran Kenrick is expected to step in between the sticks for the Munster SFC semi-final against Cork on Saturday week, June 10.