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gaa row Kildare GAA chair responds to spitting claims with passionate rebuttal

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Kildare GAA chairman Mick Gorman. Photo: Sportsfile

Kildare GAA chairman Mick Gorman. Photo: Sportsfile

Kildare GAA chairman Mick Gorman. Photo: Sportsfile

KILDARE GAA chairperson Mick Gorman has said he has “no knowledge in the world” of any alleged spitting incident during Sunday’s tempestuous showdown with Meath in Newbridge.

The FL Division 2 promotion play-off ended in combustible drama with a mass brawl, arising from which Royal duo Conor McGill and Brian Conlon were shown straight red cards.

Kildare held on after the late melee to win by 1-14 to 0-14 – but victory came at a cost, with Paul Cribbin destined to miss their championship campaign with a leg fracture after being stretchered off during the first half.

Further post-match controversy erupted after Meath manager Andy McEntee claimed McGill had been “spat on in the face”, adding: “Conor McGill is not a fighter. Somebody spits in your face, what are you going to do?”

Kildare officials could not be contacted for a response on Sunday but, yesterday, Gorman gave his reaction.

“The only word I have heard, good bad or indifferent, of any incident was what Andy McEntee said. I have heard nothing from anyone else. I have no knowledge in the world that anything occurred at all in that line,” the county board chief said.

“Foul play is not something we would ever condone,” he expanded. “The game is played and won and lost, and I know we got a bit of a second-half drubbing up there the last day (alluding to last year’s Leinster SFC semi-final in Croke Park), we conceded a number of goals and everything else. But we suck it up and we learn from it, and we go on.

“That would be our attitude; the game is over and, win or lose, pointing the finger at who started a row … I wouldn’t feel it’s beneficial to anyone.”

Sunday’s victory ensured that Kildare will be in the top flight for the first time since 2018, but they must plan without Cribbin this summer.

The long-serving attacker had surgery on Monday to repair a fractured tibia, with a small plate inserted, while some ligament repair work was also required.

“He hasn’t been scoring, but his work rate and everything else in his game had gone to a different level for us,” said selector Tom Cribbin. “It’s a pity now. Paul probably would have been our main wing-forward, but it gives some of the young lads a chance.”

Cribbin was hopeful that a three-week window to their Leinster SFC opener – against Offaly or Louth on July 4 – will be just enough time for Daniel Flynn, Jimmy Hyland and Kevin Feely to shake off hamstring injuries.

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