herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

I'm delighted for Connolly, but the system's flawed

Despite the observations and reports of many pundits, Diarmuid Connolly did not win his appeal against his red card versus Donegal simply because he never appealed it in the first place.

In fact, he sought a hearing and kept the need to appeal, the next step in the disciplinary process, in reserve. As things transpired, he did not need to call upon the appeal.

In a season of many surprises on the disciplinary front, the Central Hearings Committee (CHC) did not disappoint. The committee decided to clear Connolly on the basis that the offence he committed was not serious enough to warrant a red card and thus a four-week suspension to include one match.

I predicted this conclusion last week and am delighted for the lad -- it would have been a dreadful experience to have to sit out the final.

So, now he can prepare in earnest. But the decision to find against the proposed suspension was perplexing.

Apparently, the Dublin county board presented video evidence that argued it was not a striking action and the CHC agreed with them.

They ruled the incident as engaging in rough play and that warrants only a yellow.

I wonder how Brian Farrell of Meath feels this evening. It must have been a desperate strike that felled poor Emmet Bolton back in early summer when a different set of rules usually pertains to championship.

Dublin had their homework done alright and even if their original argument had failed my Deep Throat tells me Plan B was a shoo-in.

When match referee Maurice Deegan issued the red to Connolly he failed to note his name. That technicality might also have worked the oracle. Is there no end to the screw-ups?

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