John Small’s Leinster Final Red Card Still Upheld By CHC


John Small Red Card

Even a CAC appeal would probably be too late for on John Small’s Leinster Final Red Card

The Dublin Senior Footballers will continue to prepare for tomorrow night’s opening Super 8 encounter without John Small, as the disciplinary action he received following his red card offence in their recent Leinster Senior Football Final victory over Laois was upheld by the Central Hearing Commission late on Wednesday evening.

The Kickhams half back was a substitute on June 24th when Dublin captured their eight consecutive Delaney Cup win. He entered the action around the 51st minute, replacing Michael Darragh Macauley in the sweltering heat at Croke Park.

But around the 57th minute, Small connected with Laois’ Evan O’Carroll in what was deemed a dangerous challenge. And Derry referee Barry Cassidy brandished the red card sending Small back toward the bench. However on analysis after the game it does look like this was simply a late challenge. With O’Carroll already on the ground, Small’s hand appears to connect with the ball and rebound upward.

Even in his post match interview, Dublin manager Jim Gavin claimed that it was mis-timed tackle. A few days later Philly McMahon admitted to “Off The Ball” that the connection with O’Carroll was accidental. He even went as far as saying Small should not be punished for it.

Disciplinary Hearings

The Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) took disciplinary action again John and handed out the one match suspension. Dublin thereafter requested a hearing of the Central Hearing’s Commission (CHC) to appeal the punishment. That hearing took place on Wednesday with the outcome not changing in John’s favour and the red card upheld.

Despite the All Ireland Super 8 fixture between Dublin and Donegal being tomorrow evening, John and the Dublin Board and Management have the option of appealing the decision of the CHC to the Central Appeals Committee (CAC) but it’s not clear if this will happen.

There’s no doubt this is a setback for the boys in blue. But nonetheless it will be business as usual for Jim Gavin and his panel at 7:00pm tomorrow evening as they begin their quest for yet another consecutive All Ireland Championship.