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McConville Praises Comerford For 'Football Smarts' During Dublin Vs Kerry

10 July 2022; Dublin goalkeeper Evan Comerford appeals to the officials during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

By PJ Browne Updated

Oisin McConville praised Evan Comerford for some gamesmanship during the first half of Dublin's defeat to Kerry in Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final.

After Kerry were awarded a penalty for a foul on Gavin White by Lorcan O'Dell, Comerford went down injured before the kick was taken. Dublin were down to 14 players at the time following John Small's 21st minute black card for an off the ball tackle on Paul Geaney.

The treatment for Comerford - he initially went down holding his head and then appeared to receive medical attention on his leg - ate up the clock on Small's 10 minutes in the sin bin. The penalty was awarded with 27:33 elapsed, and was taken at 30:57. By that time Small was able to return to the action.

"In Evan Comerford's case, it's football smarts staying down for as long as he did, taking that time off the clock," McConville told The Sunday Game.

10 July 2022; John Small of Dublin after being shown a black card during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Cora Staunton added that sin bin time elapsing while play is stopped is "a thing the GAA need to look at. I know in ladies football, with the yellow card, the 10 minutes goes off [actual playing time]".

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Comerford subsequently saved the penalty from Sean O'Shea. He went down injured after O'Shea's boot made contact with his head as the Kerry forward followed up on the rebound.

Michael Murphy said that the delay to the taking of the penalty would not have helped O'Shea.

"Kerry were on a roll, everything was going their way," said the Donegal footballer.

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"Nothing was going Dublin's way, and it probably had to take something like that.

"The wait definitely doesn't help. You're sitting around there, you have all sorts of things going through your head.

"Credit to Evan Comerford, he knew the rules. You could question the integrity and everything about it. He waited as much time as he could. Dublin even got somebody on the bench to warm up, and to delay it that little bit longer. Sean O'Shea wouldn't be too happy with the penalty and execution. He didn't let it deter him thereafter."

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McConville felt that the penalty save "seemed to ignite a fire in Dublin".

"There was a little bit of handbags, nobody was contributing to a melee," he added.

"Dublin were able to get fired up, get in Kerry's faces. It took something like that. I felt Dublin were very flat early in the game."

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See Also: Former Kerry Manager Knew Sean O'Shea Would Land Vital Kick

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