Sunday 22 September 2019

Pat Spillane says Dublin's Jonny Cooper was a 'lucky boy' to avoid red against Longford

Jonny Cooper fouls Dessie Reynolds in yesterday's Leinster semi-final
Jonny Cooper fouls Dessie Reynolds in yesterday's Leinster semi-final Newsdesk Newsdesk

Kerry legend Pat Spillane feels Dublin defender Jonny Cooper was fortunate not to receive his marching orders after a clash with Longford's Dessie Reynolds in yesterday's Leinster semi-final at Croke Park.

Longford finished the game with 14-men after James McGivney saw red for a very late hit on Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton but Spillane felt that Cooper could have also went for an early shower.

The no-nonsense defender had already been booked for an off the ball incident when he appeared to make contact with Reynolds' face as he raced in on goal.

The referee decided the tackle only merited a free. Cooper was replaced by Jack McCaffrey at the interval by Jim Gavin.

"Did he deserve to be punished? I think he did," he said on The Sunday Game highlights programme.

"He led with his hand into the Longford player’s [Reynolds] face. At the very best, it was a yellow card offence. At its worst it was red.

"Jonny was very lucky to stay on the field. Jonny plays on the edge, sometimes beyond the edge. All great teams and great players do, but he will have to be very, very careful.

"He was a very lucky boy today not to have been sent off."

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