Thursday 14 December 2017

'Antagonise Diarmuid Connolly and you always get a reaction' - Pat Spillane expects 12-week ban

Pat Spillane thinks Diarmuid Connolly will face retrospective action
Pat Spillane thinks Diarmuid Connolly will face retrospective action

Kerry legend Pat Spillane believes Dublin's Diarmuid Connolly is going to miss most of the Championship summer after an incident with a linesman during their 0-19 to 0-7 win over Carlow on Saturday.

Connolly reacted angrily to linesman Ciaran Brannigan's decision to award a sideline ball to Carlow in the second half of the game and stuck his finger in the official's chest.

His actions were clearly a breach of Rule 5.32, which concerns "minor physical interference" of officials, an offence that carries a minimum 12-week suspension.

Speaking on The Sunday Game last night, Spillane believed the decision for the authorities should be cut and dried.

"This is a very obvious thing. Diarmuid was infuriated at a sidelined decision, not giving the ball back," he said.

"The pictures tell it all. A picture tells a thousand words; clearly going to Ciaran Brannigan, the linesman, clearly putting his hand on the sideline man, clearly pushing the linesman, which he’s not entitled to do, clearly with his finger pointed, threatening the linesman.

"He put his hands on the linesman, he pushed the linesman back, and a finger pointed in somebody’s face sounds to me like threatening.

"Bottom line, its Rule 5 - minor physical interference.

"It carries a penalty of 12 weeks.

"You prod a bear, you get a reaction. You prod Diarmuid Connolly, you antagonise Diarmuid Connolly, and you always get a reaction."

Colm O'Rourke said Connolly was guilty of poor discipline and that the fact that he is constantly targeted by opposition defenders is no defence for his actions

"He was playing poorly, got himself involved in a scrape, and he really could pay a heavy price for it," he said.

"Through the history of Gaelic football, every good forward has been targeted.

"It’s up to Diarmuid Connolly to have the discipline to go out and play, knowing every game he goes out he’s going to be targeted by at least one of the opposition.

"What does he expect teams are going to do with him?"

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