MATTIE KENNY has defended the sportsmanship of Greg Kennedy after his Dublin selector found himself in the eye of a Nowlan Park storm on Saturday.
Kennedy infuriated Brian Cody and the Kilkenny faithful after he caught TJ Reid's short free intended for Billy Ryan.
Reid had been standing over what seemed a routine tap-over free while referee Cathal McAllister talked to a Dublin defender. Kennedy, on the field in his role as team 'runner', then made a clear move towards the unmarked Ryan.
When Reid tried to engineer a goal chance with an angled pass, Kennedy intervened. Cue mayhem.
Afterwards, Dubs boss Kenny said: "I didn't see it but, I know Greg a long time. I was just talking to him there; the whistle hadn't gone, he was going off the field. The ball was coming over his head, he told me it was just kind of a reaction thing.
"Greg is a real top-class sports guy. He's very competitive but he wouldn't do anything like that deliberately and he assured me it was just a reaction."
McAllister ordered a retake which Reid fired over, but a visibly irate Cody vented his fury towards Kennedy on the touchline.
Nor did the Kilkenny manager disguise his feelings post-match. "I know Greg Kennedy played a fair bit at corner-back but it was a bizarre thing to do," he said.
"TJ could have tapped it over the bar obviously, but he was thinking 'goal opportunity' because it was a goal opportunity and that happened, so I wasn't happy about it, no I wasn't."
Sky pundits covering the match wondered aloud why Kennedy wasn't sent to the stand after the incident, but it's unclear whether any retrospective action could follow.