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All-Ireland final: Dublin defender Philly McMahon denies 'gouging' claims


Dublin's Philly McMahon celebrates with the Sam Maguire Cup

Dublin's Philly McMahon celebrates with the Sam Maguire Cup

?INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Dublin's Philly McMahon celebrates with the Sam Maguire Cup

Dublin defender Philly McMahon has defended himself against accusations of gouging as he tackled Kerry forward Kieran Donaghy in the penalty area during the second-half of the All-Ireland final.

The incident was highlighted on social media instantly afterwards, with McMahon's hand clearly on Donaghy's face.

Quizzed on the matter at Dublin's team hotel, McMahon answered: "I went in to put my hand in and there was no intention to go for his face."

When pressed on the matter and how it was dealt with on television, the Ballymun Kickhams man explained: "To be honest I saw a little bit of it on the Sunday Game and yeah, it probably did look that way, but there was no intention whatsoever to do that.

"If you look at it, the ball drops and I put my hand in to try to grab the ball, the ball slipped out of his right side and I tried to go in again with the left hand."

He became much more enthused when conversation turned to the marking job he did on Colm Cooper, revealing that he revelled in the prospect.

He was told two days prior to the game that he had the detail, and continued: "I was absolutely delighted. It's kind of an honour to be told that you are going to mark one of their key forwards and a man like Colm Cooper is someone I would have high respect for."

After the game, Cooper momentarily refused to shake McMahon's hand. The latter stated: "Yeah, there was a little bit of a stand-off. We spoke then and I said this is the way that I play football, this is what you have to do to win a game.

"I am going to do what I can to beat you and you are going to do what you can to beat me. And he said, 'fair enough', and then we shook hands."

McMahon is shortly going to launch his own scholarship system for people from his area of Ballymun, one of the most deprived areas of Dublin, and he believes that his increased profile, off the back of some classy performances this season, along with what seems a guaranteed All-Star to come, will help his ambitions.

"It is massive to help the youth in the Ballymun area, getting them off the social welfare and hopefully my profile can help that by winning the All-Ireland this year," he revealed.

"You subconsciously help people by winning the All-Ireland. People around the Ballymun GAA community will be buzzing now, more kids will be going to Ballymun Kickhams and other clubs around the areas, and obviously that's going to save people's lives from going other ways, wrong ways, in their lives."

Belfast Telegraph