Waterford’s Conor Gleeson will be unavailable for selection for the All-Ireland SHC final on September 3.
The Déise are set to clash against Galway in the championship decider without the assistance of Gleeson, which may prove costly come the evening of the first Sunday of September.
The Fouremilewater club hurler was shown a straight red card in the closing period of the semi-final win over Cork along with Patrick Horgan following an incident between the pair. Having examined referee James Owens’ match report in the aftermath of the game, the Central Competitions Controls Committee subsequently proposed a one-match ban for Gleeson, meaning he would miss out on the final.
Although Waterford did initially appeal the one-game suspension on Monday night to the Central Hearings Committee in an effort to have the 21-year-old free to line out on the biggest day of hurling in the year, they were unsuccessful.
Now, Derek McGrath and his management team in conjunction with Conor Gleeson himself and his family have made the decision to go no further with the appeals process and accept the suspension, which must be heartbreaking for the player who always plays the game in the right spirit.
County legend John Mullane has shared his bemused views on the fact that Waterford are not pursuing this case right down to the wire if needs be to have the UCC student available to take the field against the Tribesmen. Speaking on RTÉ 2FM, the former corner-forward explained how he can’t comprehend why the setup are not drawing out the appeals process to have Gleeson’s ban for the final lifted.
“I think Waterford probably should have pursued it and gone the whole way with it and see where it would have taken them.
“”Now it would dragged into next week with the DRA (looking at it) but I would have went the full hog with it,” Mullane said.
Gleeson has been an integral part to the success of Waterford in reaching the ultimate stage of the championship for the first time since 2008 with stellar performances in every outing along the way. Mixing between midfield and being tasked with man-marking jobs, he has impressively kept the shackles on notable marquee forwards such as Alan Cadogan, Richie Hogan, Conor McDonald and Conor Lehane en route to the All-Ireland final, leaving him in the reckoning for an All-Star even without participating in the season showpiece. He will be sorely missed by his teammates in just over ten days time.
The Déise supporters will be hoping that their players can “do it for Conor” just like they “did it for Tadgh” the last day out.
Make sure to check out the latest episode of The 16th Man, where we hear from Stephen Rochford and Éamonn Fitzmaurice after Kerry’s draw with Mayo, look ahead to Dublin vs Tyrone, and hear from Eddie Brennan while discussing the future of the U21 Hurling Championship.