independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Canning admits semi-final flashpoint was 'stupid'

Portumna's Joe Canning in action against Na Piarsaigh's Shane Dowling
Portumna's Joe Canning in action against Na Piarsaigh's Shane Dowling

PORTUMNA star Joe Canning has described his pull on Na Piarsaigh's David Dempsey in Saturday's All-Ireland club semi-final as "stupid" but insists the incident was out of character.

Canning escaped with just a yellow card for the 22nd-minute flashpoint and went on to star as the Galway kingpins progressed to a fifth All-Ireland club decider.

"It was just stupid really on my part, it was uncharacteristic I suppose," said Canning. "It was a thing that looks pretty bad on TV but it's a thing I'm not very proud of, I suppose, but them things happen in matches and hopefully it won't happen again."

The yellow card he was shown by referee James McGrath means there will be no retrospective disciplinary action, clearing the Galway captain for the club showpiece on St Patrick's Day.

Canning will line out alongside his brother Ollie who at 37 delivered a polished display from wing-forward to see off the Limerick men.

"He's 37 now and getting married in a while, he's still doing his job for the team and still going well."

And while Portumna have more miles on the clock since they made their first All-Ireland club final in 2006, Canning says they have adapted their game to stay competitive.

"I think we are a bit smarter in how we hurl, we use the ball fairly intelligently," he said. "We knew we probably wouldn't have the legs on (Na Piarsaigh) so we passed it a bit more, we used a short game I suppose a small bit more that we're not renowned for."

Portumna face Mount Leinster Rangers from Carlow and Canning insists they won't be underestimating the competition's surprise packets.

"I didn't get to see any of the matches but we'll be looking at them over the next number of weeks. But what we're hearing and reading about them, they're there on merit.

"They had a very tough Leinster campaign with Ballyboden and Oulart. You hear a lot of people saying they are from Carlow but it doesn't matter where you're from if you're a good team. They're there on merit so we'll have it all to do."

Galway, meanwhile, will appeal an eight-week ban handed down to Darragh Burke following his sending-off against Kilkenny in the Walsh Cup at tonight's Central Hearings Committee.

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