Daly moves to cool Kelly 'witch hunt'
Published 22/03/2011 | 05:00
HURLING pacesetters Dublin have pleaded for there to be no "witch hunt" against corner-back Peter Kelly and are hoping that video evidence can help him avoid a retrospective suspension this week.
The Lucan corner-back originally got a yellow card for an altercation with Shane Dooley in the league game against Offaly, which resulted in a bad ear injury to the Faithful man.
The Central Competitions Control Committee have now proposed that Dooley serves a four-week ban, which would keep him out of this week's top of-the-table clash with Galway for a start.
But Dublin will be using video evidence in a hearing this week to try to prove that Dooley's injury was accidental.
And Blues manager Anthony Daly says he fears there has been "a bit of a witch hunt" on his player because of the nature of Dooley's injury, which needed specialist surgery and 10 stitches.
"Unfortunately the only bit of the head sticking out of the helmet is the ear and it (ear injury) seems to be more prevalent now since the helmets came in," Daly said.
"I thought it was a genuine attempt to play the ball and defend his goal -- anyone who plays the game knows that these things happen. I genuinely didn't think it was a dirty blow. I've gone through the video again and Peter Kelly isn't a dirty player."
If Kelly's appeal is unsuccessful it will be a double blow to Dublin's defence, which lost Stephen Hiney to a cruciate injury in their last game and will face a tough final group game against Cork.
But they are boosted up front this week by the return of top scorer Conal Keaney, who missed their victory over Wexford due to the flu.
Dublin are still unbeaten and lead the Division 1 table by a point from Galway and Kilkenny.
Galway have the best defensive record of the top three but are unlikely to have any Clarinbridge players back this weekend, given the proximity to last week's sensational All-Ireland club victory.
The only Clarinbridge players who have already been part of the Galway senior squad this season are corner-forward Eoin Forde and midfielder Barry Daly.
Despite the heroics of the Kerins brothers, Alan and Mark, who played such a vital role in Clarinbridge's campaign and spectacular final victory, they have not received any call from the county management since their St Patrick's Day triumph.