herald

Monday 11 December 2017

McCarthy red card will stand ...but Blues plan to contest it

JAMES McCARTHY'S disputed red card against Mayo will not be automatically rescinded even though the match itself was subsequently abandoned because of the weather.

It means the Dublin wing-back (pictured left) must take his case to the Central Hearings Committee, and county board chairman Andy Kettle confirmed that this is almost certain to now happen.

"I would definitely think so," he told the Evening Herald.

In a more welcome disciplinary development for the Dubs, however, Eamon Fennell will now be deemed to have served his one-match suspension following his red card against Kerry -- even though the NFL Division One clash with Mayo was not completed.

A case of fog lifting the red mist, so to speak.

Speaking in McHale Park after Saturday night's premature halt to proceedings, Dublin boss Pat Gilroy was initially of the belief that McCarthy's red card would be scratched from the record.

However, several GAA officials subsequently indicated this was not the case, and Kettle himself said his reading of the rule was that "what happens up to the time the match is abandoned stands, and that includes reds and yellows."

On that basis, McCarthy is liable to face a one-match suspension but Dublin will contest this punishment, on the grounds that any elbow contact with Alan Freeman was not an intentional strike.

The Ballymun Kickhams wing-back was in possession at the time, but referee Marty Duffy still deemed his fend-off worthy of instant dismissal.

"I don't think I have ever seen a guy getting a red card when he had the ball in his hand," Gilroy argued. "Mayo were tackling us hard and we were tackling them hard.

"You have a right to protect yourself, in my view. I think that is all he was doing with the ball.

"He was going to get a hard hit and you have a right to protect yourself, I believe. I wasn't that side of him so I didn't see it exactly."

Kettle, from his armchair perspective, concurred.

"It was very contentious. It didn't look anything on television. Seamus Moynihan (on Setanta) spoke very strongly about it not being in his view a sending-off offence. The Mayo players didn't react in any fashion that they thought it was a dirty tackle," he pointed out.

"He (McCarthy) was looking forward," the Dublin chairman added. "He probably sensed there was a player coming at him -- it was a push reaction to get by that player."

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