Dublin set to appeal Diarmuid Connolly red card

Dublin chairman Sean Shanley said they will in all likelihood contest Diarmuid Connolly’s red card in an attempt to make him available for Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final.

Neither Dublin or Mayo have been served with proposed retrospective bans by the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) although Connolly is understood to have been recommended a one-match ban.

Shanley, who also stated Dublin are likely to challenge at least one if not both of the black cards they picked up in the second-half, said they are all but certain to follow up on Joe McQuillan’s decision to dismiss Connolly after he became involved in an altercation with Lee Keegan in second half injury-time.

“I would assume we are going to (seek a hearing),” said Shanley. “We haven’t sat down yet to discuss the matter. It was unfortunate so late in injury-time. We will be studying the video.”

Of the black cards shown to Michael Darragh Macauley and Denis Bastick, Shanley remarked: “Referees can’t be that certain at the time. Had they seen it another way, they might have done something else.”

On the Philly McMahon-Aidan O’Shea incident in the 42nd minute where O’Shea claims he was head-butted, Shanley added: “It’s bad to see that among players.”

Dublin set to appeal Diarmuid Connolly red card

Last year’s All-Ireland final referee Eddie Kinsella has been appointed to charge of next Saturday’s replay. The Laois native last took charge of a championship game when Donegal beat Galway in a fourth round All-Ireland qualifier in Croke Park last month.

Kinsella was also the man in the middle for the Kerry-Dublin Division 1 game in Killarney in March where he red carded Michael Fitzsimons and black carded Bastick and McMahon although Bastick’s punishment was later downgraded to a yellow.

After that game, Jim Gavin took issue with Kinsella’s officiating: “Obviously we’ll need to look at the decisions again. They seem to me to be a bit reactionary. A lot of the opposing players seemed to put him [Kinsella] under pressure.”

Meanwhile, Saturday’s replay looks set to be one of the fastest sell-out games ever outside an All-Ireland final. All of the tickets made available to the public sold out yesterday with the two counties’ clubs receiving their allocations via their boards later this week.

However, several supporters on social media yesterday expressed their disgruntlement with how news of the tickets going on sale was relayed and condemned the distribution method as batches of tickets were put on sale for inflated prices by touts on websites.

Tickets.ie, the GAA’s official ticket agency, confirmed they had released the first tranche of tickets to the public on Sunday night and they sold out quickly. They added in a statement: “A further allocation of tickets went on sale in the afternoon of Monday 31/08/15 and sold out in 50 minutes. There was an unprecedented demand for tickets for this fixture. The demand was so high some users experienced difficulty accessing tickets online and many fans were unfortunately left disappointed as demand for tickets far exceed supply.

“Over 73,240 fans tried to purchase tickets online via the GAA’s official ticketing partner, Tickets.ie. 72% of these fans were located in the Dublin region, 25% were based around Ireland and almost 3% of fans were situated in the London area.”

Meanwhile, the GAA’s national match officials manager Pat Doherty has poured cold water over the possibility a Bernard Brogan first-half point on Sunday went wide. A camera behind the Davin Stand appears to show the ball tailing wide although the footage is not conclusive.

Doherty confirmed the HawkEye official had not alerted the referee to the strike, while a source close to Mayo goalkeeper Rob Hennelly said he didn’t pay too much mind to whether it had gone over the bar or not.

“You look back to the Limerick- Westmeath hurling qualifier earlier this summer and the camera angle in that game,” said Doherty of the Mullingar game where referee Paud O’Dwyer’s decision to award Limerick’s Paul Browne a goal was proven correct on the basis of video footage from a different angle to what was shown on The Sunday Game.

“Video footage can’t be relied on in such circumstances because of their angles. They’re just not accurate enough. TV cameras are one or two dimensional but HawkEye is working with more.”

Elsewhere, the Wexford County Board are set to investigate violent scenes during Sunday’s senior hurling championship game between St Martin’s and Cloughbawn. A full scale fracas erupted in the 55th minute involving at least a dozen players. At this stage both sides had already lost a man, when Cloughbawn’s Johnny Cullen made what appeared a dangerous high swing on Joe O’Connor of St Martin’s.

A pile-up followed this incident, involving at least 12 players, with fists flying, punches landing and a helmet sent flying down the pitch having been ripped from the head of a player.

After it, linesman Brendan Martin consulted with match referee David Jenkins who subsequently issued straight red cards for St Martin’s pair, Wexford senior Daithi Waters and county U21 hurler Jake Firman, along with Cloughbawn’s Barry Kehoe and Johnny Cullen.

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