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Connolly's ban worry

DUBLIN forward Diarmuid Connolly could yet pick up a costly early-season ban as the Leinster Council have sought the match video of last weekend's O'Byrne Cup semi-final, writes Cliona Foley.

TV coverage captured the St Vincent's man in an incident with Kildare's Ciaran Fitzpatrick when he was lying on the ground.

Connolly was yellow-carded, along with Kildare's James Kavanagh, when the two clashed in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

The altercation with Fitzpatrick was not mentioned in referee Eddie Kinsella's match report, which was discussed by Leinster's Competitions Control Committee (CCC) on Wednesday night.

But the Irish Independent understands that the provincial CCC has since requested a copy of the match video and are due to review it later today.

If referee Kinsella says he saw the incident and decided against taking any action at the time, then the CCC cannot overrule him and no disciplinary action will ensue.

But if the match official says he did not see it, and the CCC feel it warrants a punishment, then they have the power to pursue it. Striking or attempting to strike with the knee carries a four-week suspension.

The GAA is about to replace time-based suspensions with match bans in this year's Allianz Leagues and, from February 4, such an offence will carry a one-game suspension.

But the time-based disciplinary system still exists for the O'Byrne Cup and also carries from that competition into the National League.

If Connolly picks up a four-week suspension, he would miss two NFL games as Dublin open against Kerry on February 4 and play Mayo a week later.

Irish Independent