Diarmuid Connolly loses appeal and is ruled out of Mayo Dublin replay
Dublin forward loses his appeal to the CHC which means he's banned for Saturday's replay
Dublin have suffered a hammer blow to their dreams of All-Ireland glory after Diarmuid Connolly was banned for Saturday's SFC semi-final replay with Mayo.
The All Star forward, controversially sent off during last Sunday's dramatic deadlock, had been facing an automatic one-match suspension arising from his injury-time wrestling bout with Mayo's Lee Keegan.
Whereas Keegan was merely booked, Connolly received a straight red card and was duly cited for striking in referee Joe McQuillan's match report.
He contested his punishment at a meeting of the Central Hearings Committee, but word filtered through last night that the St Vincent's clubman has been unsuccessful in his attempts to have the red rescinded.
Dublin sources had been guardedly optimistic of success before the CHC, and now it remains to be seen whether the player and his county board will seek to have a quick-fire appeal heard by the Central Appeals Committee before Saturday's 5pm showdown at Croke Park.
Meanwhile, Mayo last night announced an unchanged starting 15 while declaring that Donie Vaughan had recovered from the shoulder injury that forced his early exit last weekend - although this official release will do little to dampen speculation about one or more late changes.
Mayo (SFC v Dublin): R Hennelly; G Cafferkey, D Vaughan, K Higgins (capt); L Keegan, C Barrett, C Boyle; S O'Shea, T Parsons; D O'Connor, A O'Shea, K McLoughlin; D Drake, C O'Connor, J Doherty.