Monday 5 December 2016

'It wasn't goading... it was my own frustration' - Diarmuid Connolly doesn't regret headlock

Published 19/07/2016 | 15:11

Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly tussles with James Dolan of Westmeath in Croke Park. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly tussles with James Dolan of Westmeath in Croke Park. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

Dublin star Diarmuid Connolly has no regrets over the incident which saw him yellow-carded in his side's facile Leinster final victory over Westmeath.

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The Dublin vice-captain was booked late in the first half after an incident during which he had Westmeath defender James Dolan in a headlock after Dolan had patted him on the head.

Westmeath boss Tom Cribbin admitted after the game that they had deliberately targeted Connolly.

“He can get a bit excited at times and probably, we were looking for him to get excited,” Cribbin admitted.

“We needed a whammy. We have to be honest. We were hoping to try and entice him.

“Sure that’s what most teams do. But he’s a fabulous footballer, one of the best in the country, if not the best.”

Speaking to RTE Sport today, Connolly claimed he was happy with how the ref had dealt with the situation.

“I think the referee dealt with it there and then. I was a bit frustrated, but look, that’s part and parcel of the game as well."

He added that his rash reaction was down to how he had failed to get into his stride rather than any attention he was receiving from the opposition.

“No. It was a yellow card offence.

“I don’t think that was a factor [goading from Westmeath players], I was just more frustrated with how I was playing myself and that’s what happened.”

There was bad news for the Dubs today as they revealed that wing back James McCarthy was facing six weeks on the sidelines with a knee ligament injury

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