Thursday 25 May 2017

James McCarthy set to avoid sanction for altercation in Donegal clash

James McCarthy clashes with Martin McElhinney of Donegal
James McCarthy clashes with Martin McElhinney of Donegal
Dublin's James McCarthy. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

James McCarthy is unlikely to face any sanction over an incident with Donegal's Martin McElhinney in Saturday night's Allianz NFL Division 1 match in Croke Park.

The Dublin wing-back and Donegal's Michael Murphy both picked up second yellow cards when McCarthy reacted to Murphy's challenge on Dublin's Ciaran Kilkenny by pushing the Donegal captain as he was picking himself up off the ground.

That prompted McElhinney to get involved and as the pair grappled McCarthy pushed off McElhinney's face but the incident looked more serious when it was slowed down in television replays than it did in real time.

As referee Conor Lane yellow-carded McCarthy, it could be construed that he dealt with the incident. However, even if the punishment was for the initial push, the GAA's Central Competitions Control Committee are more likely to determine that the Ballymun man hasn't a sufficient case of dangerous behaviour to an opponent to answer.

The CCCC have already proposed retrospective one-match bans for Donegal's Neil McGee and Fermanagh's Sean Quigley but evidence of intent against McCarthy is not firm.

Dublin's Philly McMahon received a retrospective one-match ban when his hand made prolonged contact with Kieran Donaghy's face during last year's All-Ireland final.

McMahon denied any suggestion that it was eye-gouging but he opted not to challenge the ban handed down to him for behaviour considered dangerous to an opponent.

The McMahon incident was clearly visible in real time. The level of contact between McCarthy's hand and McElhinney here is not nearly as easy to determine unless in slow motion.

Irish Independent

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