Henry Shefflin has defended Kilkenny teammate Eddie Brennan for his red card offense in an ill-tempered and shock NHL defeat to Waterford last Sunday.
Brennan, who was sent off along with Blues full-back Declan Prendergast after a series of clashes between the pair, has applied for a personal hearing into the incident. And Shefflin is backing the GAA authorities to rule in Brennan’s favor when he appears before them.
“Anyone who saw it would say Eddie didn’t deserve to be sent off. That was pointed out on TV on Sunday night. It was one of those instances,” he said. “The referee went by the umpire so it’s outside his control. You’d be hoping it would be rescinded because it wasn’t deserved.”
The experimental rules in use for this season’s League campaign didn’t help the Kilkenny or Waterford players as Shefflin acknowledged. He added, “We lost two players and Waterford lost two players to yellow cards as well. You want to be fairly disciplined. Some people think Kilkenny play on the line but, to be fair, I think our lads are very fair and clean hurlers.
“Giving the four lads yellow cards was a bit harsh because it was only a bit of a shemozzle. There wasn’t much too it but so be it. They’re the rules, we have to abide by them.”
Prendergast is expected to receive an eight-week ban for his red card after TV cameras spotted him striking Brennan on the head with his hurl in an off the ball incident.
Waterford manager Davy Fitzgerald jumped to Prendergast’s defense after the shock win at Walsh Park. Fitzgerald said, “I saw it on the monitor. The replays on the television are grand — they’ll show one thing, but they won’t always show what was going on in the game.
“There’s always two sides to every story. That would be unlike Declan, he is not a dirty player and he must have been frustrated for some reason.”
Fitzgerald enjoyed the win against an experimental Kilkenny side and said, “You could nearly count the number of wins over Kilkenny in the past five years on the one hand. I don’t think they wanted to lose this game either, so it’s nice to get one over them.” Kilkenny boss Brian Cody had no excuses after his team’s defeat. “They deserved to win it — they were strong and they were good,” he said.