Mayo defender Lee Keegan has admitted that he had a key role to play in the fracas that resulted in Diarmuid Connolly receiving a red card in the All-Ireland semi-final between Dublin and Mayo.
The recently crowned footballer of the month, has accepted that he initiated the injury-time row with Connolly shortly after being thrown to the ground in a separate incident. Both players were seen wrestling on the field with Connolly delivering a punch that yielded a red card from referee Joe McQuillan.
As we all know, Connolly eventually had his suspension rescinded and he was back in time to take his place in the Dublin line-up for the replay and Keegan's admittance gives credence to the self-defence claim that was put forward during Connolly's numerous appeals.
Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Keegan admitted that Connolly was not the only one practicing 'the dark arts' at the end of the fiery clash.
Just a few minutes before I had been pushed over myself. So I was kind of a small bit provoked myself.
But that’s not something you’d try to think about on the pitch too often because you need to hold your head as well. Diarmuid is obviously one of Dublin’s best players, I’m going to try to stop him any way I can to win the game for Mayo.
Mayo fans may suggest that a strike is a strike and, as such, Connolly deserved to serve a suspension. However, the self-defence defence which Joe Brolly put forward certainly does seem as if it may have played a part.