Kevin O’Brien reports from O’Moore Park

JIM GAVIN HAS defended Paul Mannion in the wake of his red card during Dublin’s Leinster SFC quarter-final hammering of Louth in Portlaoise last night. 

Dublin rolled in five goals during their convincing 26-point win to get their championship campaign up and running, but Mannion is facing a suspension after he clattered into Conal McKeever in the 26th minute.

“My first thoughts on it having seen it live, I thought he tackled him and the ball just popped up,” said Gavin. “Certainly from my perspective, it didn’t warrant a red card. Possibly a yellow.”

He then brought up the challenge from Tyrone goalkeeper Niall Morgan that left Dublin forward Paddy Andrews with a broken jaw during the league. Morgan only received a yellow card for the incident, meaning he avoided any further punishment.

“The Louth player got up afterwards and played on, unlike Paddy Andrews. He didn’t and he broke a jaw. They were completely different tackles. Paul got the ball first, probably braced himself.

“Paul’s a strong guy. He’s a big man. He’s six-two. I thought the Louth player crouched a little bit, which probably didn’t help him. But the Louth guy got up and played on. But my initial reaction is it’s certainly not a red card.”

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Conal McKeever down injured after an incident with Mannion.

Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Dublin will play either Longford or Kildare in the semi-final on 9 June and Gavin hinted they would be appealing the dismissal.

“It’s probably unfair for me to give a full assessment until I see it again. We’ll have to have a really close look at it. Because it wouldn’t be in his nature – I can’t remember the last time Paul would have gotten a red card.

“We’ll see it slowed down into various frames and we can make an assessment then. But my initial reaction is it’s a harsh call. Thankfully it didn’t upset the rhythm of the game for us.”

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