Dublin and Armagh own up to challenge match actions

Dublin and Armagh have accepted the actions of their players in a challenge match in July merited punishment.

At a Central Hearings Committee (CHC) meeting, the counties acknowledged their players erred when they became embroiled in a melee prior to throw-in in a game in Glasnevin last month.

However, the proposed €10,000 fine by the (CCCC) for each of the counties may be reduced as the pair made arguments that the incident was out of character for both sets of players.

Dublin’s Davey Byrne, who suffered facial injuries as a result of the fracas, has already served a one-match ban for his involvement.

An Armagh player has also been handed a one-match ban but it is understood he won’t sit out a game until the first round of the National League next year. Armagh exited the championship on the same weekend Dublin beat Westmeath.

The incident came to the CCCC’s attention when Dublin manager Jim Gavin admitted in an interview in the build-up to the Westmeath game: “Regrettably, an incident took place before a recent challenge game against Armagh.”

Meanwhile, the recommended two-match ban for Dublin hurler Liam Rushe has been reduced to one after the CCCC agreed in front of the CHC that the player should have been penalised for striking with minimal force.

Rushe was sent off for his involvement in an altercation with Waterford’s Maurice Shanahan at the end of the counties’ All-Ireland quarter-final in Semple Stadium last month. The CCCC had initially proposed Rushe serve a two-match ban for striking but on the basis of video evidence they accepted he had committed a lesser infringement.

Had the same charge been made against Rushe last year, he may have avoided any suspension. However, the GAA this year introduced a rule on the back of Lee Keegan’s case made in front of the CHC 12 months ago.

Keegan was sent off for kicking Kerry’s Johnny Buckley in last year’s drawn All-Ireland semi-final but Mayo succeeded in having the one-match ban quashed, proving Keegan had not made contact with Buckley but had instead attempted to kick him.

As a result of a vote at Congress in Cavan earlier this year, the CHC are empowered to downgrade a punishment instead of throwing out the proposed penalty completely.

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