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Philly McMahon on John Small r...
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Philly McMahon on John Small red card: "It's accidental. You shouldn't get punished for it"

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

15:51 27 Jun 2018

Dublin sealed their 8th consecutive Leinster title at the weekend with a comprehensive 18 point victory over Laois at Croke Park on Sunday.

Despite the lop-sided scoreline, John Small was red-carded for Jim Gavin's men just minutes after coming onto the field to replace Michael Darragh Macauley after he appeared to strike Laois' Evan O'Carroll in the face.

Off the Ball's Máire Trease Ní Cheallaigh caught up with Philly McMahon on Wednesday and the Dublin stalwart believes it should not have been a sending-off as the contact was accidental.

"I suppose when you see it - you see John going for the ball and then unfortunately he connects with the guy's face. 

"But, just when you think about the environment and the way the game was - we were, kind of, pulling away a bit from Laois and I can never imagine somebody coming on and intentionally doing something like that when you're beating a team well.

"There's not that much long left in the game so for me, you could see he was reaching down to get the ball and certainly, from my point of view, it was accidental - an accidental collision with his hand and his face.

"It's a contact sport. If someone accidentally hits someone in the face - it's accidental. You shouldn't get punished for it. We play at such a high intensity in the environment that we play in and you just can't control everything.

"If someone has the ball close to his chest and you're reaching down to get the ball and it's close to his face - you're going to make contact with his face so it's the sport we play in - it's a physical contact sport and these things do happen," he added. 

 

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