PETER KELLY will have a hearing this week against the four-week ban imposed on the versatile Lucan Sarsfield’s man in the aftermath of Dublin’s Allianz Hurling League victory over Offaly in Tullamore on March 6.
Kelly faces the prospect of missing both the clashes with Galway in Parnell Park this coming Sunday and Dublin’s final ‘Spring Series’ Croke Park fixture with Kilkenny in a fortnight’s time after the CCCC decided he had a case to answer over an incident with Shane Dooley which later required ten stitches to the Offaly captain’s ear.
Kelly was booked at the time by referee, Alan Kelly – a decision that upset Offaly management on the day but Anthony Daly told the Evening Herald that there had been a “witch hunt” against Kelly in the game’s aftermath.
“I felt there was a bit of a witch hunt on the day,” insisted the Dublin manager. “Unfortunately, the only bit of the head sticking out of the helmet is the ear. I’ve gone through the video again and Peter Kelly isn’t a dirty player.”
“It seems to be more prevalent now since the helmets came in. The hurler bangs off the helmet.
“I thought it was a genuine attempt to play the ball and defend his goal. Anyone who plays the game knows that these things happen. I looked at it again several times. I genuinely didn’t think it was a dirty blow. People were trying to make more of it than it was.”
Kelly is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury which forced him out of the subsequent victory over Wexford and may not make the Galway game even if the ban is lifted.
The good news for Dublin is that top scorer, Conal Keaney, will return after missing the trip to Wexford Park, as will Ruairí Trainor, who played in a challenge match victory over Clare yesterday. Maurice O’Brien is still a couple of weeks off full fitness, however, and Conor McCormack is doubtful after contracting ‘flu.