Tipp vow to appeal suspension if Corbett was 'wronged'
TIPPERARY will appeal Lar Corbett's anticipated one-match ban if they feel their player has been "wronged".
Tipp chairman Sean Nugent confirmed last night that Premier County top brass will back their player if they believe he was unfairly sent off against Kilkenny in Sunday's National Hurling League final.
Nugent verified that Corbett (right) suffered broken ribs against the Cats at Nowlan Park, but said that he did not know when the injury was sustained.
Nugent accepted, however, that it was "possible" that Corbett was injured during the goalmouth fracas that led to him being dismissed, along with Kilkenny defender JJ Delaney.
Nugent stated: "It's possible that it may have occurred at that time, or at some other stage. I don't think Lar is too sure himself at what time it occurred, but he certainly has broken ribs."
When asked if Kilkenny goalkeeper Eoin Murphy should have received some form of censure for his part in the episode, Nugent replied: "Those matters are for the referee. He has to deal with things as he sees them and that's what he did. He obviously consulted his umpires and the result was two red cards."
Barry Kelly's decision to send off Corbett and Delaney rules both players out of their counties' opening championship games.
Tipp are due to play Limerick in the Munster SHC semi-final on June 9, with Kilkenny meeting Offaly in Tullamore on the same day. Kilkenny have already indicated that Delaney will accept a one-match ban, provided that is the limit of his punishment.
Corbett may have been ruled out in any event due to the nature of his injury as he faces a minimum of four weeks on the sidelines.
But Nugent insisted: "You have to leave the broken ribs aside in a case like that.
"You have to look and see was he wronged. If we feel, as a county board, that he was, we'll look at appealing his red card."
Nugent continued: "It hasn't got to that stage yet. The referee has to submit his report and it has to go before the CCCC. After that, the county board will look at the matter and see where we go from there."
Corbett (32) spent Sunday night in Clonmel General Hospital after the extent of his injury was revealed.
The 2010 Hurler of the Year is earmarked to attend a media announcement at Croke Park this afternoon, where Liberty Insurance will be unveiled as the GAA's latest sponsor. It is not yet clear if Corbett will be present for the event.
Kilkenny's Jackie Tyrrell, who Corbett has clashed with in the previous two championship clashes between the counties, is also earmarked for the media briefing at GAA HQ.
Meanwhile, Nugent insisted that there was nothing sinister behind Tipperary's late return to the pitch for the second half at Nowlan Park.
He explained: "I was in the dressing-room at half-time. I went back out on the field and assumed they (players) would be back out a few minutes later. I'm sure that whatever being said by management inside extended a little bit further than maybe intended. That's all that was to it. I'd imagine there was nothing else attached to it."
Kilkenny, meanwhile, are not expected to appeal Delaney's dismissal after TV footage showed the former Hurler of the Year punching Corbett's helmet.
But when asked about Delaney's red card after Sunday's final, Kilkenny selector Martin Fogarty responded: "You asking me about the ref? I don't know – I won't say. It's very difficult but I'd be very sorry to see anyone getting put off, and from what I could see there was nothing major going on there.
"I saw the sending off but didn't see why they were wrestling around the ground. I didn't see anyone get hit with a hurl or hit with a fist.
"We, as people involved with teams, don't like to see anyone get put off, either on your team or the other team."