Tipperary goalkeeper, Evan Comerford, has been handed a twelve week ban following an incident in a club game last week.
The lengthy ban will date back to the day of the incident, May 23rd, and will see the 2016 All Star nominee miss the entire inter-county championship season unless the Premier reach the All Ireland semi-final stage again this term, as they did last year.
The suspension has arisen following a “minor physical interference” with an official after Comerford was sent off in the game for his club Kilsheelan-Kilcash against JK Brackens.
Referee Paddy Russell, who took charge of the 1990 and 1995 All Ireland finals, reported the incident after the game. It was a hotly contested match-up which saw 2011 All Ireland minor winning manager with Tipp, David Power, now over Kilsheelan-Kilcash, also hit with a ban for comments made towards an official.
22-year-old, Comerford’s suspension carries across all grades and levels because of the nature of the infraction, meaning although the incident occurred in a club game, he will not be able to line out for Liam Kearns’ side the in the said period. Kearns will now have to plan without his first choice goalkeeper for the foreseeable future, whose accurate kickouts are paramount to Tipperary successfully implementing their game plan, retaining possession and launching attacks.
With the challenge of an out-of-form Cork team the focus for Tipp in the Munster semi-final on June 10th now without their number one facing them, Kearns is also preparing for their championship opener without Ciaran McDonald, Philip Austin and captain Peter Acheson.
Acheson is now based in Dubai, while Austin and McDonald are carrying injuries.
Following Cork’s poor display in Dungarvan against Waterford last weekend and the result when these two counties met at this stage of the provincial championship last year, many would have had the Premier as favourites heading into the clash with the Rebels. However, with their regular starting team so heavily depleted, it is now difficult to see which way this tie will go.