Fitzgerald ban is reduced
Twelve-week suspension deducted to four on appeal
Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald has had a twelve-week ban reduced to four weeks on appeal.
Fitzgerald was apparently hit with the ban following the report of referee Cathal McAllister of the county's Allianz Hurling League quarter-final loss to Galway in Pearse Stadium, Salthill.
Despite the fact that Wexford led by one point at the break having played into the elements, Fitzgerald was clearly annoyed with the decisions of the Cork match official.
This prompted him to leave his position in the stand to confront the referee as he left the pitch for the half-time break.
The free count for the opening 35 minutes was 14-4 in favour of Galway, a situation that did not sit easily with the Wexford manager.
Fitzgerald had words with McAllister on leaving the pitch, expressing his concern with the free count which clearly had gone against his side.
Upon receipt of the match report, the C.C.C.C. in Croke Park handed down a twelve-week ban to the Wexford manager which would have seen him banned from the touchline for most of the provincial championship.
County Chairman, Derek Kent, revealed in a local radio interview that Fitzgerald had had this twelve-week ban imposed by the C.C.C.C. He also explained that they had decided to appeal the ban which was subsequently reduced to four weeks.
As a result of the successful appeal, Fitzgerald will be able to take his place on the touchline for the championship opener with Dublin in Parnell Park on Sunday, May 19, which has a 3 p.m. start.
This is not the first time that Fitzgerald has fallen foul of Croke Park's disciplinary committee, as in 2017 he was handed an eight-week touchline ban following his infraction with Tipperary's Jason Forde during the side's clash with Tipperary in the Allianz Hurling League semi-final. On that occasion Fitzgerald decided against an appeal and accepted the ban.
Meanwhile, the County Chairman has informed the County Board that the Senior hurlers will have a training camp in Portugal at the end of the month, stressing that it has been sanctioned by Croke Park.
As Fitzgerald sits out an anxious four weeks of club championship action, with fingers crossed that all players will come through some searching tests unscathed, his second round opponents, Galway, have been hit with a huge blow.
Their star attacker, Joe Canning, will miss the provincial championship campaign, having to undergo a groin operation, with the injury picked up in the closing minutes of the league semi-final defeat to Waterford.
An early casualty of the club scene is Diarmuid O'Keeffe of St. Anne's. The outstanding midfielder received a leg injury in his club's Senior football league game against St. Martin's shortly after the Galway league defeat.
The injury has since been diagnosed as a dead leg, which will keep him out of the game for a period of four to six weeks, leaving little time for preparation for the Dublin championship opener.
The outstanding midfielder will also be forced to sit out his club's four rounds of championship action, two Senior football and two Senior hurling.
A number of Senior hurlers were nursing injuries, being forced to sit out the opening round of football for their clubs, but they are expected to become available for the Senior hurling championship on the weekend of April 12-14.
On the football front there were no reports of any injuries over the opening weekend, apart from the departure of Joe O'Connor early in the second-half of St. Martin's victory against Castletown.