Gavin surprised by Small dismissal

June 25, 2018

Dublin's Jim Gavin as John Small is sent off.
©INPHO/Bryan Keane.

Jim Gavin reckons John Small didn't deserve to be sent off in yesterday's Leinster SFC final.

The Ballymun Kickhams clubman was only on the pitch five minutes when he was dismissed in the 57th minute following a challenge on Laois' Evan O'Carroll. The straight red card means he will miss Dublin's Super 8s opener against Donegal on July 14/15.

"Obviously I'm just off the pitch but my initial reaction was that it was just a clumsy challenge," the Dublin manager said after guiding his side to a record eight-in-a-row of provincial titles.

"I don't think there was anything malicious in what John did. Surprised to see that he went, maybe the linesman said something to the referee I'm not too sure, but I was surprised he was sent off for that challenge."

Gavin was confident that Stephen Cluxton will be fit for the Donegal game after being named to start yesterday, though he could face competition from Evan Comerford who the manager felt had an 'exceptional' game in his absence.

"Stephen was very keen to play, but I had to make the call for the team and I thought Evan was fantastic. It was no surprise to us as we've seen in training games and well done to him.

"I think from the fall Stephen got (against Longford), the pitch is hard during the summer months but he was very close today and he's kicking ball and training away, so we'll see him back soon."

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