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Gearóid Hegarty Has Sympathy For Banned Clare Players

Gearóid Hegarty Has Sympathy For Banned Clare Players
By PJ Browne Updated

Gearóid Hegarty says he doesn't like the idea of retrospective action being taken by disciplinary bodies for what happens on the hurling pitch. Clare duo Peter Duggan and Rory Hayes were hit with proposed one-match bans for incidents during the Munster hurling final. Those incidents were missed during the game by referee John Keenan but subsequently highlighted on that evening's Sunday Game.

The Irish Independent reported on Tuesday that Duggan and Hayes have not accepted the bans, and will have hearings this week. If they are not successful in their attempts to have the suspensions overturned, they will miss Saturday's All-Ireland quarter-final between Clare and Wexford.

"I do," 2020 Hurler of the Year Hegarty told RTÉ 2FM's Game On when asked if he has sympathy for Duggan and Hayes.

"Referees have a seriously hard job.

"The speed of the game of hurling. John Keenan did an unreal job [in the Munster final]. I know there was a bit of analysis after with certain aspects that went on on the field.

"If you overanalyse and pore back through the footage of every hurling game, and you look for incidents going on off the ball, you'll have 20 people getting banned.

"Hurling is such a fast game and it's hard enough to ref as it is.

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"What they did was stupid and it should have been pulled up on in the game. I'm not a fan of going back over footage looking for incidents.

"You'll have counties who won't be able to field a team. So much goes on off the ball, whether it's right or wrong, or people are acting up or not.

"I haven't thought about it too much, because it hasn't impacted us, but I'm not a fan of this retrospective action. If it's not dealt with on the day, I don't see too much benefit of going back and banning people after the game."

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Twice this season, Hegarty has been sent off. During a National League game against Galway in February, he was shown a straight red card, and in the drawn Munster round robin game against Clare, he received two yellows.

Hegarty accepts that he was rightly sent-off against Galway but contests the decision in the Clare game.

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"Earlier in the year I was sent off in the Galway league game, and I was rightly sent off - what I did that day deserved a sending off," he said.

"The one against Clare below in Ennis was a silly sending off. That was a silly sending off, I don't think I deserved to sent off that day.

"That's the way it goes. You've got to go out on the field and trust that just as much as your team-mates are going to do their job, the referee is going to their job.

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"I honestly don't spend too much time worrying about it, you've got to go out and get on with it. I was very frustrated after getting sent off in Cusack Park.

"The amount of people who were coming up to me in the three-week lead-in to the Munster final, and telling me this and that. It was a tough lead-in for me because I was getting asked so many questions about it.

"It was an unfortunate thing to happen, but you've just got to forget about it. Half-an-hour after the game, I'd forgotten about it, and I was moving on, I was already looking forward to the Munster final."

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Picture credits: Sportsfile

See Also: A Year Ago, Shane O'Donnell Thought He'd Never Play Hurling Again

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