SportGAA

Philly McMahon was Sunday Game's first choice for All Ireland Man of the Match

GAABy Roy Curtis
Philly McMahon with Sam Maguire after last week's All Ireland final win for Dublin
Philly McMahon with Sam Maguire after last week's All Ireland final win for Dublin

Philly McMahon was the initial choice as Sunday Game All-Ireland final man of the match – only to be stripped of the award in a remarkable hush-hush about turn.

McMahon edged his outstanding Dublin team-mate Brian Fenton in the RTE vote, but the panel controversially reversed their decision after reviewing footage of the defender’s high-profile clash with Kieran Donaghy.

Slow motion replays appeared to show the Footballer of the Year candidate making contact with Donaghy’s eye region though McMahon subsequently vehemently insisted there was absolutely no intent to gouge the Kerry skipper.

But the panel of ex inter-county stars may have got cold feet as the incident went viral on social media and, bizarrely, decided to revisit the vote despite no official action having been taken against the Ballymun star at that stage.

Fenton and McMahon were both exceptional in the final, the 22-year-old Raheny rookie a hugely popular winner of the prestigious award.

But former Dublin star and Sunday World columnist Charlie Redmond, while welcoming the recognition of Fenton, has accused the Sunday Game panel of “acting as judge and jury” by demoting McMahon.