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Ballymun seek Leon reprieve

Dublin CCC to clarify disputed red

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Leon Young of Ballymun Kickhams appeals after he was shown the red card by referee James King

Leon Young of Ballymun Kickhams appeals after he was shown the red card by referee James King

SPORTSFILE

Leon Young of Ballymun Kickhams appeals after he was shown the red card by referee James King

Both finalists in this year's Dublin SFC showpiece are facing the loss of key players through suspension.

As matters stand, Ballyboden St Enda's are set to be without their first-choice goalkeeper, Darragh Gogan, after his injury-time red card against St Jude's … but the semi-final fallout for Ballymun has been even more dramatic.

Kickhams had two players sent off in the dying minutes of Sunday's pulsating win over Kilmacud, but there are strong indications that one of the dismissed duo - Leon Young - will have his red card rescinded.

Clarification

The Herald understands that the Dublin CCC has sought clarification from referee James King in relation to Young's straight red, with Ballymun adamant that he was the victim of mistaken identity. The CCC is meeting tonight to deal with the various referee's reports from the weekend.

Davey Byrne will definitely miss the decider on Sunday week on foot of a straight red card for striking.

Meanwhile, a third Ballymun player - Jason Whelan - will be hoping to avoid retrospective censure. The club has declined to comment on the flashpoint involving Whelan and Cian O'Connor, whose wrestling bout ignited the injury-time melee that culminated in the aforementioned brace of Ballymun reds.

A TG4 replay of the incident appears to show Whelan's hand making contact with his opponent's face as he lies on top of the Crokes defender.

However, the fact that King issued yellow cards to both players would make any further disciplinary action unlikely, especially if the referee confirms that he dealt with the matter. It would certainly make it problematic, under rule, for the Dublin CCC to pursue the matter any further.

Whereas the video offers no plausible defence for former Dublin player Byrne to appeal his red card, Ballymun management and officials are determined to clear Young, who appeared mystified at his dismissal. "I'm pretty sure it's mistaken identity," said team boss Brendan Hackett - a viewpoint reiterated by club PRO Cathal Roche.

"From talking to the people that were there and talking to Leon himself, he was 40 yards away from the incident," Roche explained. "He was standing with Paul Mannion at the time, and there was nothing had happened between the two of them.

"I have spoken to Leon myself, I know by him, he's a really genuine young fella and he was absolutely disgusted (on Sunday night), so upset. He said he wasn't anywhere near it."

More generally, Hackett conceded that the fracas took "a bit of the shine" off a thrilling victory. He also highlighted their discipline en route to the semi-final.

"It was an incident that just got out of hand," the Ballymun manager surmised. "Two fellas grabbed each other in the heat of the moment, which happens, and I think if it had been stopped - bang, there and then - there would have been nothing.

"And it's just a pity because I thought there was a lot of good football in it, from both sides, and there were some cracking scores."

Focussed

Hackett said his team had "focussed a lot" on discipline in their previous outings, adding: "In the four games I think we'd only had a couple of yellow cards for what I'd call poor tackling, that was all, which was exceptionally good."

Meanwhile, the potential loss of Gogan could be just as damaging for Boden given the importance of the goalkeeper's role. He was dismissed following a late entanglement with Kevin McManamon, who ended on the ground.

Gogan duly ended back in the stand, prompting the injury-time introduction of sub 'keeper Jake Turley. There has been no update on whether the holders will contest his suspension.