Fennell, Kerrigan await ban decisions
Published 07/02/2012 | 05:00
Cork's Paul Kerrigan and Dublin's Eamon Fennell will be among the first players to be be hit with match suspensions under the new trial, following their weekend red cards.
Match bans will replace time bans this season as part of a trial that aims to bring about a fairer system of penalising players. This comes into effect for the Allianz Leagues.
Kerrigan could be in line for a two-match ban if referee Syl Doyle has reported him for attempted use of the head, a Category 3 infraction.
Fennell's clumsy elbow into Bryan Sheehan in the dying stages of Dublin's defeat to Kerry on Saturday ensures that he will miss the trip to Castlebar to play Mayo on Saturday night.
Under the old system Kerrigan could have missed up to five games. The same offence would have carried an eight-week ban, which would have incorporated Sunday's match against Down, the trip to Donegal, the visit of Laois, the home tie against Kerry on March 18 and an away game to Mayo.
Instead, if he is suspended for a Category 3 offence, he will be back for the Laois game in early March. Cork will decide if they will contest any proposed suspension later in the week.
Rebels manager Conor Counihan was annoyed at the red card decision in the immediate aftermath of the match, but it appears that the linesman in question informed referee Doyle that there was attempted striking with the head involved.
Fennell's offence happened in full view of referee Maurice Deegan, and Dublin manager Pat Gilroy has expressed his disappointment with it and indeed the indiscipline that's been creeping into the team this season.
In Newbridge two weeks ago Diarmuid Connolly avoided a red card when his knee caught the head of Kildare full-back Ciaran Fitzpatrick, with a subsequent Leinster Competition Controls Committee review of the incident deciding it didn't warrant any further investigation.
In that game Gilroy hauled off Michael Darragh Macauley early on as he became involved with opponents, while there were plenty of instances of over-zealous tackling on Saturday.