Waterford selector Eoin Murphy admitted last night that Conor Gleeson's red card in Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final victory over Cork cast a shadow over post-match celebrations.
Gleeson will be suspended for the September 3rd decider with Galway – and Waterford are also sweating on Austin Gleeson's availability.
Déise officials should find out today if Austin Gleeson is to face any proposed sanction from the GAA's Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC), following an incident that saw Cork player Luke Meade's helmet removed from his head.
While doubt surrounds the Austin Gleeson case, his namesake Conor looks set to be reported for a category III infraction, namely ‘to strike or attempt to strike an opponent with a hurley, with minimal force’.
The offence carries a one-match suspension and would see Gleeson miss out on the Galway showpiece.
Murphy told WLR FM last night: “It’s a pity and it was hard to take at the time. The game was nearly over, close to the 70th minute, and it’s tough on Conor. I don’t know what way it’s going to go, we’ll see what due process is going to be.
“It’s a pity – it dampened down the win after for us but look, we had to deal with different situations coming into the semi-final, and we may have to deal with one or two more now.
“We need to stay focused and that’s why we train with a panel of 34 to the nth degree – so we have players to come in if needed.”
Cork, meanwhile, have confirmed that they'll look to exonerate Patrick Horgan after he was red-carded following the Conor Gleeson flashpoint.
In what was a case of mistaken identity, referee James Owens dismissed Horgan, when it was Shane Kingston who retaliated against Gleeson following the initial incident.
It now appears certain that the Horgan red card will be passed on to Kingston.
Cork understand that Kingston would then be suspended for the opening Allianz League fixture of 2018.
The consequences for Gleeson are far more serious, however, as Murphy hailed his “outstanding” weekend contribution.
Murphy said: “He snuck up for a fantastic point after Jamie’s goal – a super point which kicked us on again. He was outstanding all through. We’ll have to see what’s going to happen in the next few days, we’ll see what way the process is going to go.”
Murphy confirmed that Waterford had targeted Anthony Nash’s puck-outs in their pre-match planning and wanted to hold the Rebels to a minimum 20-point haul.
Both objectives were achieved and Murphy said: “We needed to nullify them a small bit and not let them get so much momentum. Their forwards are so good – they proved in the Munster championship that if you give them space and good quality ball, they’ll punish you.
“The backs and forwards worked so hard and the quality of ball going in wasn’t as good. Even on the puck-outs, they struggled to find the space they found in the first game against us in Thurles.”
Murphy revealed: “To be honest, our plan was to try and keep Cork down to 20 points overall. It’s great but it’s a semi-final at the end of the day. We’re back in a final and it will count for nothing if we don’t hold our heads. We have to go again to beat Galway.”