Galway defender Adrian Tuohy is facing a potential All-Ireland final senior hurling final ban after footage emerged which shows him interfering with Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher’s helmet in today’s semi-final at Croke Park, writes Jackie Cahill.
The incident was discussed on RTÉ’s ‘The Sunday Game’ highlights show – and Galway now face an anxious wait before discovering whether or not the GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee will take action.
The footage shown on the programme, however, clearly shows Tuohy pulling the helmet from Tipp player Maher’s head in the first half.
'The precedent has been set' - The panel discuss the removal of Bonnar Maher's helmet by Galway's Adrian Tuohy pic.twitter.com/cwPwPvZK9j— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) August 6, 2017
And the issue of players and head-gear is a very hot topic at present – as Waterford player Tadhg de Búrca is currently ruled out of next Sunday’s semi-final with Cork following an incident involving Wexford’s Harry Kehoe in the recent quarter-final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
The Tuohy helmet pull wasn’t dealt with by referee Barry Kelly or his officials – which leaves the way clear for the CCCC to take retrospective action.
Tuohy could be cited for a category III (iv) infraction, specifically "behaving in any way which is dangerous to an opponent, including deliberately pulling on or taking hold of a faceguard or any part of an opponent’s helmet (in hurling)".
The minimum penalty for such an offence is a one-match suspension in the same code and same level, which would rule him out of the September 3 decider with Cork or Waterford, if GAA disciplinary chiefs take action and get the charge to stick.
Waterford’s Stephen Bennett was banned for the Déise’s qualifier against Offaly this summer – having been found guilty of a similar offence on Cork’s Damien Cahalane during the Munster semi-final.
And de Búrca is fighting to clear his name in the aftermath of the Wexford tie – as Waterford prepare to take his case to the independent Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA) this week.
Galway are sure to vehemently oppose any sanction against Tuohy, who enjoyed a solid outing against Tipperary.
But in light of previous episodes which have been clearly dealt with this summer, the CCCC will come under pressure to follow through in this instance and show consistency.