A footballer punched a spectator in the face after the man tripped him up on the sideline, a court heard.
Cialan O'Mahony (27) attacked the man on the pitch after falling over his leg during a soccer match in west Dublin.
He admitted the assault, but Judge David McHugh left him without a conviction after remarking there had been "a certain amount of provocation".
O'Mahony, with an address at St Laurence's Road, Chapelizod, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to a man at St Catherine's Park, Lucan, on November 22, 2014.
The judge applied the Probation of Offenders Act.
Sgt Mary Doherty told Blanchardstown District Court the victim was watching a soccer match between Lucan side Beech Park FC and Chapelizod FC.
The victim was standing on the sideline when O'Mahony punched him on the right cheek, knocking him to the ground.
The victim suffered facial injuries and received two stitches.
O'Mahony apologised for what happened, his barrister said. He had been dribbling the ball down the sideline when the victim "stuck out his foot and tripped Mr O'Mahony".
There were words between the two and, in a "moment of rage", the accused struck the victim once.
A conviction could have "serious consequences for him in the future", the accused's barrister said.
He said the victim had put out his leg "whether it was inadvertent or not".
Judge McHugh said he was satisfied that the assault happened in the heat of the moment and there was a "certain amount of provocation".
He said this was not an excuse, but it "somewhat explains the matter".