Tuesday 21 November 2017

Miscarriage of justice if Connolly misses final

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

DIARMUID CONNOLLY has the ball in his hand, having won a free. Donegal substitute Marty Boyle jostles into him. Connolly reacts and jabs (with no great force, it must be said) out at Boyle.

After a brief exchange, Boyle goes to ground as if hit by Mike Tyson in his prime. Donegal midfielder Rory Kavanagh clatters into Connolly.

Referee Maurice Deegan consults with linesman Rory Hickey and then sends off Connolly.

Net loss to Dublin? The overturn of a very scoreable free and a man short for the remaining 12 minutes of the game. Connolly is also facing a ban for the final.

Net gain for Donegal? A close-in free is cancelled and they have an extra man for the remainder of the game.

Donegal were the original aggressors yet profited considerably from the skirmish. How can that be just?

And how can it be fair if Connolly, such a leading light in the Dublin attack this season, misses an All-Ireland final for such a trivial offence? It's not.

Free the St Vincent's One.

Irish Independent

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