Monday 20 November 2017

Gilroy pledges to address discipline after O'Byrne flashpoints

PAT GILROY is not a man to rest on his laurels - or dally over a substitution that needs to be made - as All Star midfielder Michael Darragh Macauley discovered to his cost at Newbridge.

Macauley ran into early disciplinary trouble during yesterday's O'Byrne Cup semi-final, picking up a 10th-minute yellow card for a high tackle on Kildare defender Brian Flanagan.

All of which might have been overlooked if the Ballyboden St Enda's man didn't run into some further foul trouble in the next few minutes. Cue his replacement after just 19 minutes, with Gilroy later explaining: "There was just a lot of messing going on between him and his man at that stage and there was just no point.


"It was silly stuff, so we just took him off so that he didn't get sent off," said Gilroy apres-match.

Ironically, Macauley's replacement - Diarmuid Connolly - was subsequently embroiled in a 55th-minute flashpoint and the TG4 replay of his initial involvement, landing down on prone Kildare defender Ciarán Fitzpatrick, does not reflect well on the mercurial Dublin forward.

Kildare's James Kavanagh then made an angry beeline for Connolly and this sparked off a wider melee. When order was restored, Eddie Kinsella booked both Connolly and Kavanagh: this would appear to preclude any prospect of a retrospective suspension, since the referee could be deemed to have dealt with the incident.

The game was marked by 11 yellow cards - seven for Kildare - and two double-yellow dismissals, for Kildare's Eoghan O'Flaherty and Dublin's Paul Brogan.

"Referees seem to be very strict in the O'Byrne Cup-type matches, there seems to be an awful lot of frees for innocuous things," Gilroy said.

"I didn't think either one of them were really sending-offs but at the same time, probably strictly speaking they were, so we just have to live with that. It's a part of our game that wasn't particularly good today - we weren't particularly disciplined - so it's something we need to address."

Sacrificing Macauley, with a resultant reshuffle, also meant Gilroy had to abandon the experiment of trying out midfielder Eamon Fennell in a new target-man role.

"We might look at it again, but we really didn't get a proper look at it today," the Dublin boss admitted.

DUBLIN'S next competitive game is on Saturday, February 4 when they opening this Allianz FL campaign against Kerry. Tickets are on sale from www.gaa.ie, www.tickets.ie , www.ticketmaster.ie or GAA Ticket Office - Dorset St (9.30am to 5pm from next Monday).

Tickets can also be ordered through your local GAA club. Parnell Pass Holders can collect their 'Three-match ticket bundle' free of charge from the GAA Ticket Office on Dorset Street (10am on Tuesday January 31).

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