O'Dwyer: Sending off 'was a bit harsh'

Dublin forward Ryan O'Dwyer has admitted he holds no grudge against referee James Owens who sent him off during last Sunday's All-Ireland SHC semi-final against Cork.

Dublin forward Ryan O'Dwyer has admitted he holds no grudge against referee James Owens who sent him off during last Sunday's All-Ireland SHC semi-final against Cork.

O'Dwyer was shocked by his first yellow card which saw him go in for a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge with Conor Lehane in the second minute. However, Owens viewed it as a frontal charge and duly issued the first booking of the game.

The Tipperary-born attacker was then dismissed in the 50th minute following a heavy challenge on Lorcán McLoughlin that sent the Cork midfielder to the ground. O'Dwyer pleaded his innocence, but it looked rash and high.

Speaking on Newstalk's 'Off The Ball' programme about the early booking, he said: "Being brutally honest, there was a bit of disbelief at first. I am passionate player and will give 100% and I suppose just got caught up in the moment.

"I honestly think it was a bit harsh, but the referee is only human as well and you can't hold it against him. He made a call, saw exactly what happened, and unfortunately for me it was the wrong one.

"I think anyone that knows me and the way I play, the last thing they'll say is that I'm a dirty player."

O'Dwyer is expected to appeal the two bookings in an attempt to have his red card rescinded, something which both Pat Horgan of Cork and Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin achieved during the latter stages of the Hurling Championship.

Dublin GAA Chairman Andy Kettle has already suggested that the player should go down this route, with O'Dwyer adding: "Sure the whole way throughout the game it was tit-for-tat. It was a clean game, there wasn't any dirty stroke pulled. So for such a clean game, and for someone to be sent off, is very harsh."

Some would argue that point as O'Dwyer's team-mate Liam Rushe was fortunate to avoid a red card when he was seen to strike out at Pat Horgan around the hour mark, although Horgan insisted afterwards that it was 'only a small tap on the hand, so I wouldn't expect him to get a red card for something like that'.

There is a feeling though among hurling fans and the media that referee Owens would have sent Rushe off had O'Dwyer still been on the pitch at that stage.

O'Dwyer also conceded that the Dublin management could and perhaps should have taken the option of replacing him to avoid the possibility of picking up a second yellow. "They probably should have made that call in hindsight," he stated.

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