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Austin Gleeson in danger of missing All-Ireland final through suspension after helmet grab

Conor Gleeson will likely miss out after his 68th minute red card.
Aug 13th 2017, 7:09 PM 22,608 45

“I DON’T THINK there’s ever a distraction in trying to do the right thing,” was Derek McGrath’s assessment of the disciplinary saga Waterford endured in the build-up to today’s semi-final win over Cork.

Derek McGrath celebrates after the game Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Tadhg de Burca will be back from suspension as the Deise look to end a 58-year famine on 3 September, but the McGrath could well be facing another appeals process in the coming weeks as they prepare for the Galway clash.

Austin Gleeson appears to be in hot water after a first-half incident where he pulled Luke Meade’s helmet off, while Conor Gleeson is almost certain to miss out after his straight red card after a clash with Patrick Horgan late on.

Austin Gleeson’s transgression wasn’t spotted by referee James Owens, but he may be facing retrospective action. ”I haven’t been aware until you said it there of any sort of an incident involving a helmet,” McGrath told RTÉ after the game. “We’ll see what happens.”

000e79bf-800 Source: RTE

Interference with an opponent’s helmet is a hot topic in recent times. Two Waterford players, de Burca and Stephen Bennett, have already served one-game bans for similar offences this summer.

It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out, as Galway’s Adrian Tuohy faced no disciplinary action this week after he appeared to remove the helmet of Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher in last week’s semi-final.

De Burca had his suspension upheld after appealing it to the Central Hearings Committee (CHC), Central Appeals Committee (CAC) and Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA). McGrath said he used the sweeper’s absence as motivation before this game.

“100 per cent,” he said. “We spoke about it as a group Friday night. We spoke about it as a group today.

“He showed great mental fortitude in the two weeks. We did it for him, yeah. I make no apologies, that was part of the motivation for us. Not in a corny way, but it was definitely part of the group’s motivation because of what he had contribute up to this match over the four years.

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“I promised him the other night coming out of the Louis Fitzgerald hotel that we’d be in final. I just promised him. I know it sounds overly dramatic but I just promised him that we’d be in the final.

“I went up to his mother and father on Friday up in Clashmore and they were upset. Naturally, like, they would be. So I just promised him we’d be in the final.”

Now McGrath faces another anxious wait to see if he’ll be without a pair of key figures for the biggest game on the hurling calendar.

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Kevin O'Brien

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