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'To get two men sent off like that, a lot of what happened in the game was very predictable'

Jim Gavin reflected on victory and red cards last night in Croke Park.

Diarmuid Connolly is shown a red card by referee Ciaran Branagan
Diarmuid Connolly is shown a red card by referee Ciaran Branagan
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

DUBLIN MANAGER JIM Gavin confirmed last night that they will appeal the red card shown to Eoghan O’Gara in their defeat to Donegal and again raised the issue of his players being targeted by opponents.

After the controversy of the Leinster final where Westmeath admitted to trying to provoke Diarmuid Connolly, Dublin saw their All-Ireland quarter-final success clouded by a game where both Connolly and O’Gara were dismissed in the second-half.

“A source of disappointment that for a team who play the way we want to play the game that we end up with 13 men. That’s the surprising bit that I find and it’s probably a question that you need to ask the officials on that one.

“I’m just saying to get two men sent off like that, a lot of what happened in the game was very predictable going into it.

“We all knew that would happen, that some of our players would receive special attention and that was the case and it’s up to officials to act on it and if they don’t?

“Eight of them, four umpires and the four men in black… they’re letting the players down on the pitch on both sides, by the way.”

O’Gara as it stands faces an automatic one game suspension which will rule him out of Dublin’s clash with Kerry on 28 August.

“I think so, yeah (that Dublin will appeal),” says Gavin.

“The players would know my opinions about raising your hands and if you make contact with somebody’s head you’re going to be sent off and you’ll get sympathy from me. I’ll have to look at it.”

Gavin also spoke about the wider issue of discipline in Gaelic football

“I am a big supporter of the rules that were brought into eradicate cynical play from our game. I would have always been an advocate of the sin bin but I understand the logistics of it from an administrative perspective in real time in games.

“But I think the black card has really served us well. You don’t see any cynical pulldowns and that was the main driver for it to be introduced and that’s not happening anymore.

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“But there’s also the back end of the rule that there are black cards for cynical play both verbal and physical against opponents or your team-mates and for aggressive nature towards referees. That’s an area we don’t see too much of.

“Officials are doing a fantastic job. The standards have really increased and it’s great to see the co-ordination between the umpires and the linesmen. It’s certainly evolving but they need to have a closer look at that one.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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