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Sunday 17 December 2017

Flynn details his 'bizarre' ban for lifting cup

Daryl Flynn of Moorefield. Photo: Sportsfile
Daryl Flynn of Moorefield. Photo: Sportsfile

It was, Daryl Flynn accepts, a "bizarre" climax to a pretty surreal day.

Skipper of the Moorefield team in this year's county final against Celbridge, the former Kildare midfielder was sent off after just 18 minutes.

Two minutes later, vice-captain David Whyte joined him on the line. And incredibly, 13 men prevailed against 15.

But as Flynn prepared to climb the steps in St Conleth's Park to accept the Dermot Bourke Cup, he got word that the very act of lifting it could lead to a double-whammy ban. He went ahead anyway.

"I would never have heard of it until just as I was about to go up the steps," he recounted. "It is a bizarre rule, I'd never heard of it being implemented before."

Here's the really bizarre bit: Flynn's straight red card meant he was already facing a one-match suspension for Moorefield's next SFC encounter - their Leinster club quarter-final against Portlaoise - but his one-match ban for lifting the cup (having been sent off) pertains to Moorefield's opening fixture in next year's Kildare championship.

All of which means he's available for Sunday's Leinster semi-final trip to face Rathnew in Aughrim, along with the returning Whyte.

Yesterday he was in Croke Park for a Leinster GAA event to promote next weekend's two football semi-finals.

His decision to lift the cup, given the circumstances, demanded further exploration.

"If I could make the decision again I'd lift the cup again," the veteran midfielder stressed. "You mightn't get that chance again in your life."

Flynn was "kind of" aware that it could cause trouble, because "someone said it", but as he explained: "You have a choice - it was strange. I don't know what you'd do if you were playing for your club and you had a chance to lift the cup? I would put that question to anyone. So I made the decision."

As did Whyte, who shared the honour. "It was always the case that if we won I was going to lift the cup with him because we're captain and vice-captain," he explained.

"I know the two of us got sent off and people might think we were kind of rubbing it in to the county board - but it was actually always the plan that if we were to lift it, we'd lift it together.

"We've done it over the years: when Ross (Glavin) was captain and Kevin (Murnaghan) was vice-captain they lifted it together, and Roly (Sweeney) and Ian Lonergan. So look, it wasn't a dig at the county board or anything."

As for looking on against Celbridge for 40 helpless minutes, Flynn described it as both "great and hard to watch. The defensive shift they put in, 13 men ... it's probably unheard of for a county final."

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