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Bryan Cullen celebrates at the final whistle Photo by: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Dublin ace Connolly to miss All-Ireland football final after red card

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Bryan Cullen celebrates at the final whistle Photo by: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Dublin captain Bryan Cullen has criticized the sending-off that has cost ace forward Diarmuid Connolly his place in the All-Ireland football final showdown with Kerry.

Connolly is set to miss the glamor tie through suspension after his second-half dismissal in Sunday’s two point win over Donegal in a dire semi-final.

The young forward was shown a straight red card for striking a Donegal player after he had won a free in the final quarter of a very disappointing semi.

The Dubs won through in the end to set up a fascinating tie with Kerry on the third Sunday in September but Cullen was unhappy with Connolly’s dismissal.

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“I was very disappointed to be honest. I was more concerned with how he was converged on after winning the free and three Donegal players charged into him,” said Connolly.

“I felt he was just shoving one out of the way, I don’t know what the referee or linesman saw but it seemed harsh to me.”

Dublin actually turned the game around after Connolly’s dismissal in a game spoilt by Donegal’s reliance on a blanket defense.

“It was very tough out there,” added Cullen. “It was probably very disappointing for the spectators as well but we tried our best to play as much football as we could.

“It was just very difficult in the circumstances in the way Donegal set themselves up.

“We felt if we moved the ball quickly they might struggle to get back in numbers. They really played with two extra defenders and it wasn’t that until we started moving through the hand and taking on defenders that we had a bit more joy.”

Kerry will be favorites when they tackle the Dubs in the All-Ireland decider next month.

Captain Cullen said: “It is a great place to be. When you start off on this journey at the start of the year an All-Ireland final seems a long way away.

“We showed good form in the league, with a bit of a blip in the final, but we knew if we carried the consistency into the Championship we would be there or thereabout and thankfully we have made our first final in God knows how many years.

“It is something you to think about when you’re growing up and when you start playing for Dublin it is something you have one eye on. I’m looking forward to it.”
 

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