Wednesday 22 November 2017

Fitzgerald accepts sideline suspension

Davy Fitz: back in time for final game
Davy Fitz: back in time for final game
Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

Waterford hurling boss Davy Fitzgerald will not contest any further a commuted sideline ban that is still set to keep him out of his side's next two league games, including next weekend's big clash with Kilkenny.

Fitzgerald's only comment, that he is "drawing a line under the matter," indicates that he will not be taking his case any further, even though he has argued vehemently that he had no case to answer in the first place.

The Clare man was relatively successful in his initial appeal, which resulted in a proposed 12-week suspension being reduced by two thirds.

His four-week suspension has been dated from his appeal last Friday night, which means he will miss this weekend's clash with the Cats and the Offaly game a week later.

But he will be back in time for Waterford's final group game against Galway, a match that could yet decide who makes the Division 1 NHL final.

Fitzgerald is understood to be unhappy at having to serve any ban at all after bringing in witnesses to try to prove his innocence.

He argued that one comment for which he had been reported -- by a linesman -- had not been made by him at all and Waterford also argued that the linesman did not have the power to report comments to the referee.

Referee James Owens is believed to have reported Fitzgerald for another comment made to him that he regarded as "threatening language" but the Deise boss argued that the referee had misinterpreted what he said and the Central Hearings Committee downgraded the offence, resulting in the much shorter suspension.

Waterford still have a shot at getting to the Division 1 league final.

They are fourth in the table, just a point adrift of joint-second placed Galway and Kilkenny.

Irish Independent

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