Mattie Donnelly: Tyrone star could be asked to explain apparent strike in Derry game

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BBC Championship pundit McConville said Croke Park might study the Donnelly incident

Tyrone will hope that influential Mattie Donnelly avoids censure after TV replays showed him appearing to strike Derry's Chrissy McKaigue in Sunday's Ulster SFC game at Celtic Park.

McKaigue attempted to block a Donnelly run before the Tyrone man raised his right hand to the Derry player.

Referee Maurice Deegan took no action against the Tyrone centre half-forward.

"It's clear Mattie Donnelly strikes Chrissy McKaigue," said BBC Sport NI's Championship pundit Oisin McConville.

"If that's the case, it's a sending-off."

Donnelly has already been in disciplinary trouble twice this season.

The Trillick man was sent off for striking Cavan's Seanie Johnston in a Dr McKenna Cup in January and was banned retrospectively for one match during the Football League following a post-match altercation with Mayo's Aidan O'Shea in March.

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The incident happened 10 minutes into the second half as Tyrone were on their way to earning a 0-22 to 0-11 victory.

"It's something that the disciplinary committee may have a look at," added McConville.

"It wasn't dealt with on the day so they are able to have another look at it.

"Us looking at the pictures, can you conclusively say it was a punch in the mouth? It's a difficult one.

"I can imagine if Tyrone went up to defend that, they would be able to get (Donnelly) off on this occasion.

"(But) From what we saw, it was a clear enough strike. Certainly at that stage, Derry were were well in the game and it (a Donnelly red card) would have made a huge amount of difference to that match."

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