Kerry and Donegal set to pay for Tralee fireworks

Kerry and Donegal are braced for the prospect of €5,000 fines and retrospective bans arising from Sunday’s melee-marred Division 1 game in Austin Stack Park.

Kerry and Donegal set to pay for Tralee fireworks

The Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) will this morning hold a conference call where they will discuss referee Eddie Kinsella’s report and video footage of the heated incidents.

Neil McGee may be asked to explain his actions which provoked Alan Fitzgerald to strike him, while there may also be repercussions for players from both sides involved in the extensive scuffle that saw Leo McLoone sent off for an attempted strike on Aidan O’Mahony.

Speaking on Radio Kerry’s Terrace Talk last night, Marc Ó Sé played down the fractious nature of the match: “It was tough but they are the games you want.”

Ó Sé, though, suffered a blood injury. Asked what happened, he said: “To be honest, I was blindsided. When you go inside the white lines, that’s what happens.”

Former Kerry forward Sean O’Sullivan claimed Donegal were “antagonistic” and Kerry refused to bow down to them.

Also speaking on Terrace Talk, O’Sullivan questioned why Rory Gallagher were “going down this road with a talented bunch of footballers” and “what they resorted to yesterday there was no need for it”.

Sunday’s game further brings into question the number of management and backroom officials populating sidelines. GAA regulations state only five from each side are permitted – a manager, selector, two water carriers and a medical team member. However, that number was exceeded in Austin Stack Park as it was in the All-Ireland club SFC semi-final between Castlebar Mitchels and Crossmaglen Rangers last month where there were tensions on the sideline.

James O’Donoghue could also land himself in hot water after criticising one of Eddie Kinsella’s umpires on Twitter.

O’Donoghue, who is not expected to return to action until next month, queried the role of Kinsella’s assistant who didn’t recommend action be taken against McGee after his grapple of Fitzgerald’s hand compelled the Kerry forward to lash out and strike the Donegal man. On the umpires’ advice, Fitzgerald was shown a straight red card.

The disciplinary rules for derogatory remarks about match officials don’t apply to players.

Last season, then Tipperary manager Peter Creedon had his sideline privileges withdrawn for one game after he slammed the performance of David Coldrick in their opening Division 3 game against Armagh.

However, O’Donoghue may be in trouble for breaching the GAA’s social media guidelines.

Donegal’s Paddy McBrearty yesterday appeared at an Allianz League event in Donegal town, stepping in for McGee who was due to attend.

After Éamonn Fitzmaurice admitted Kerry’s discipline wasn’t what it should have been, McBrearty admitted the visitors also let themselves down in Tralee.

“It was physical. There is a big rivalry developing there between Donegal and Kerry. There was the quarter-final in 2012 and the All-Ireland final in 2014. It was probably the most physical league game I’ve been involved in. There was a good deal of physicality to it but it was just two teams going at it. We’ll watch the video, evaluate it and we’ll see where we fell down. Definitely in our discipline and defending.

Elsewhere, Fermanagh manager Pete McGrath has confirmed they will contest the proposed €5,000 fine handed to the county by the CCCC following a half-time tunnel fracas with Armagh in their Division 2 last Saturday week.

Armagh were recommended the same fine and Fermanagh’s Sean Quigley was banned for one-match as a result of the CCCC’s review of the disturbances.

“We are appealing that definitely because there are a number of issues regarding the fine,” said McGrath who described the punishment as “draconian”.

“Fermanagh is a small county and we’re struggling to make ends meet To just lash a €5,000 fine on a county without examining... but we have a right of appeal and that is going to appeal so hopefully they’ll take a second look at that.”

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