Waterford are likely to appeal the red card that looks set to cost star man Austin Gleeson his place in their team to play Wexford in the National Hurling League final in Semple Stadium on Saturday night.

Gleeson scored two goals and three points in Sunday’s 5-20 to 0-16 semifinal annihilation of Wexford before he was sent off following an incident with Simon Donohoe.

The dismissal should see Gleeson banned for the decider, but Waterford chairman Sean Michael O’Regan confirmed to RTE Sport that the Deise are considering an appeal based on video evidence.

 “It was a great performance and away from the excitement of that we have a meeting tonight and we will be looking back and reviewing and discussing whether there is grounds for an appeal,” O’Regan said.

“I seriously doubt if we even have seen the referee’s report yet. Looking at it, regardless of what decision is made tonight we are delighted with our players’ performances and with the way things are going.

“A lot of players have debuts made and we are really looking forward to the league final and we hope our supporters will come in big numbers again. We should have a decision made by tomorrow at the latest as to whether we will appeal the decision.”

Waterford boss Liam Cahill will back any decision to appeal the Gleeson red card as his side prepares to face Cork in Saturday night’s final after the Rebels saw off Kilkenny by 2-20 to 1-27 at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Saturday night.

The Cats had dominated the early exchanges but Cork powered back into contention with a strong second half revival when a 67th minute goal from Darragh Fitzgibbon turned the game on its head.

Cork boss Kieran Kingston told RTE, “I thought we were very slow out of the blocks. Kilkenny gave us a lesson in the early stages of the game. We just couldn’t come to terms with nearly every aspect of their game and we found ourselves six points down.

“From six down, to win by four, that was really pleasing. We showed great character and in front of a big Cork crowd. In the championship round-robin we have only one home game.

“Like I said before the game, this is an important occasion for Cork hurling. We had only two league games at home, this was knockout. It was important for us to be very competitive and give a good performance.”

The NHL Division 1 relegation playoff saw Antrim condemn Offaly to Division 2 next season after their 3-24 to 2-17 win in Navan.

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Dubs drop a division

Dublin will play in Division Two of the Allianz NFL next season – the first time in history that the top division will not feature a team from Leinster as the Blues’ fall from grace continues just two seasons after their six-in-a-row All-Ireland record breaking heroics.

A 3-13 to 1-18 defeat to Monaghan in Clones will offer real hope to their provincial rivals ahead of this summer’s Championship action, and Dubs boss Dessie Farrell was more concerned about the performance than the consequences after two wins on the trot before Sunday’s defeat.

Speaking to Newstalk radio afterwards, Farrell said, “To be honest, it’s not the most concerning thing. Our disappointment is mostly based around an inconsistent performance again. We put two decent performances back-to-back but there was still work to do for sure.

“You would have thought we were on a decent enough trajectory at that point. The second half was better, we were flat in the first half and that’s more disappointing in terms of quality of performance. We’re looking towards the summer at this point.”

Farrell’s reign has included one All-Ireland title since he succeeded Jim Gavin, but top pundit Joe Brolly is not impressed with his team’s current status ahead of the Championship summer.  He tweeted on Sunday, “Dublin are no longer ‘a team.’ Totally disorganized, with no cohesion, it is every man for himself. Worst of all, no passion.”

Donegal and Armagh players could face censure from the GAA and possible Championship bans after a melee at the end of the home side’s 1-14 to 1-13 win in Letterkenny on Sunday when a Patrick McBrearty point sealed a big comeback for Declan Bonner’s team.

The 75th minute winning point kept Donegal in the top flight for next season, but the row that followed could set the tone for the Ulster SFC meeting between the same two sides in three weeks, and reports say Croke Park are ready to study video evidence of the disagreement to see if disciplinary action is needed. 

Michael Murphy missed a penalty for Donegal, but they managed to preserve their Division 1 status nonetheless while fellow Ulster side Tyrone were 1-15 to 2-11 victors over Kerry in Killarney, the Kingdom’s first defeat at the ground in five years and Tyrone’s first win on Kerry soil since 2003.

Mayo will provide the opposition to Kerry in Sunday’s NFL final at Croke Park after their 2-20 to 0-18 win over Kildare in Leitrim, a result that relegated the Lilywhites.

Promotion for Rossies

Roscommon sealed a return to Division 1 NFL action next season with a 1-20 to 1-15 win against Galway at Dr. Hyde Park on Sunday – the same time they will now meet in the Division 2 final at Croke Park this Sunday.

Galway were already promoted before Sunday’s game, and manager Anthony Cunningham wants the Rossies to focus on securing regular Division 1 football next year.

He told RTE, “For the development of players, to get to the next level, any every player of our panel wants to get to the next level, to do that you’ve got to ply your trade every day against Division 1 opposition or top-class Division 2 opposition.

“We’re no different than any other county, we want to be there (in Division 1) and we want to progress. The job is done, we’ve got promotion and for us it’s Championship now and a league final against Galway again next weekend.
“It’s going to be easier for Galway to get up for this than us but we’ll have another battle again.”

Down were already relegated before their 2-14 to 1-9 defeat to Clare, and Offaly will join them in Division 3 next season after their 1-21 to 1-20 defeat to Cork in O’Connor Park. Derry were 1-16 to 2-11 winners over Derry.

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Other results

Louth footballers were promoted for the second year running as a 2-17 to 1-13 victory over Wicklow in Aughrim on Sunday saw them go up from Division 3 with Mickey Harte again masterminding their latest success.

The Wee County will now play Limerick in Saturday’s Division 3 final at Croke Park, the Shannonsiders booking their promotion with a 1-16 to 0-14 win over Fermanagh. Laois, beaten 2-17 to 1-13 at home by Longford, and Wicklow were relegated while Westmeath defeated Antrim by 1-13 to 0-12 at Corrigan Park.

Cavan and Tipperary will kick off the football finals weekend at Croke Park in Saturday’s curtain raiser. Tipp beat London by 1-14 to 0-12 while Cavan were 3-21 to 0-10 winners against Waterford at Breffni Park. Sligo defeated Leitrim 2-16 to 2-10 and Carlow and Wexford drew, 0-14 to 1-11.

Bubbles out

Tipperary's hurling side confirmed that John “Bubbles” O’Dwyer won’t play again this season as a knee injury picked up last season continues to take its toll. 

Tipp manager Colm Bonnar said, “I had a good chat with him, he just wasn't 100 percent physically and the injury left him too much of a gap to reach in time for championship."

O’Dwyer was last in action for Tipperary in the team’s defeat to Waterford in last year's All-Ireland quarterfinal.