Dublin in last-ditch effort to have red-carded Connolly play

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By John Fogarty

Dublin are planning to make one last-ditch attempt to make Diarmuid Connolly available for tomorrow’s All-Ireland semi-final replay after the Central Appeals Committee (CAC) last night upheld his ban.

Referee Joe McQuillan shows Diarmuid Connolly of Dublin a red card against Mayo. Picture: Inpho

Dublin are likely to present their case to the Disputes Resolution Authority later today after the CAC advocated the decision taken by the Central Hearings Committee (CHC) to enforce the one-match suspension. The latest meeting in Croke Park lasted almost five hours only finishing up after 2am this morning.

Having heard evidence from Dublin and the Central Competitions Control Committee in Croke Park on Wednesday evening, the CHC found that the county had failed to prove that the player should not have been sent off.

The St Vincent’s man was shown a straight red card by referee Joe McQuillan after he consulted with linesman Conor Lane about a tussle between Connolly and Mayo defender Lee Keegan, who was yellow carded as a result.

Dublin are set to name Connolly in their starting 15 in the hope that he is freed to help take on Mayo at 5pm tomorrow. However, doubts remain about the fitness of Rory O’Carroll after he sustained a serious cut to his head in an incident involving Cillian O’Connor in the third minute last Sunday.

Jonny Cooper also took a knock to the shoulder while Alan Brogan looked shaken after colliding with Paul Flynn in the closing stages.

Should Connolly fail to have his ban overturned, manager Jim Gavin will not be able to replace him unless he brings in a player at the expense of his substitute goalkeeper.

No late additions are permitted to the 26 players sent to Croke Park before 9am yesterday morning, the only exception being an emergency sub ‘keeper although in that there may exist a loophole to exploit.

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