GAA Football

Cargin duo Mick McCann and Martin Kane free to play in Antrim decider

Michael McCann (right) will be available for Sunday's decider

COMPELLING video evidence, eye witness accounts and impassioned appeals from Michael McCann and Martin Kane have resulted in the two Cargin players being freed to play in this Sunday’s Antrim Senior Football Championship final against neighbours Creggan Kickhams.

Both McCann and Kane were controversially red-carded in the closing stages of Cargin’s semi-final win over Lamh Dhearg – but after a long-winded disciplinary hearing on Tuesday night the pair won their appeals.

McCann and Kane had to wait until yesterday morning where they were informed by email of the CCC’s decision to overturn their suspensions as Cargin chase down three-in-a-row in Portglenone this weekend.

It is understood video footage from Antrim’s official Facebook broadcast and from a BBC camera helped both players’ cases.

McCann was cited for ‘head-butting’ a Lamh Dhearg opponent and on the advice of his officials, referee Colm McDonald had to dismiss the veteran midfielder.

However, a Lamh Dhearg player acted as witness and told the disciplinary committee that at no time did McCann head-butt.

McCann and Kane addressed the disciplinary committee themselves to protest their innocence.

The two sets of players came together when Cargin’s Pat Shivers was felled off the ball for which Lamh Dhearg's Micahel Herron was red-carded.

Cargin were winning the game by a few points with a couple of minutes remaining on the clock.

The video footage captures McCann and the Lamh Dhearg opponent grappling with one another but didn’t show any use of the head.

Kane’s alleged indiscretion was also picked up by one of the pieces of TV footage but it was deemed inconclusive and therefore the committee had no option but to bin the red cards.

One Cargin source said yesterday: “It would have been two nonsense decisions if those red cards would have stood and Michael and Marty had missed Sunday’s final. Now we can focus on preparing for the game with no more distractions.”

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GAA Football