By John Fogarty
A seething Dublin manager Greg McGonigle says Dublin should be offered a replay if there is a means of doing so after Carla Rowe was denied what seemed a legitimate point in the first half of today’s All-Ireland ladies senior football final.
Cork won by a point although Dublin’s Sineád Aherne scored a last-minute goal from the penalty spot.
However, McGonigle launched a major broadside against the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) for not implementing HawkEye score detection technology for the game.
“You obviously don’t want to come in here making excuses for why we lost the game. Obviously, there are factors. Possibly, a big one was our conversion rate of missed chances in the first half.
“But what I would say here is we preach all year about having equality and standards. If this happened next Saturday, we would be going to HawkEye. If you take down the (advertising) posters of Sinead Goldrick and Briege Corkery and the other girls plastered around Ireland... if there was €1.5 million put into our association and if it cost 10 grand for HawkEye... youse guys are the journalists, youse know better than I do if we are actually serious about ladies sports or do we just say ‘we do what we can do and if it costs us a wee bit extra money we don’t want to do it’.
“If there’s a possibility of a replay – and I genuinely want to say it’s nothing to do with Cork and from our point of view we believe (referee) Brendan Rice and his team of officials did a good job – but when we comes to our national stadium to play I believe a young girl of 12 years of age growing up dreaming to play in Croke Park should be getting the same basics as the men get. Fundamentally, I believe our ladies association have let us down.”
Dublin are currently discussing their options after Rowe’s scoring attempt was waved wide by an umpire although it's understood Central Council took a decision earlier this year not to implement HawkEye as they weren't able to do it across the board - the system is only installed in Croke Park and Semple Stadium - and it would need to be recalibrated for the size 4 football ladies use. However, in relation to the absence of HawkEye, McGonigle questioned the LGFA’s financial priorities.
“I think I saw something last year that it was too much money and if that’s what it comes down to I don’t think we’re definitely skint. Put it on the flipside, 45 to maybe 60 officials spent a week in San Diego in the earlier part of the year. What do you think would be more important?
“Obviously, we have a county board. I just talked to our administrator Patricia Monahan and we’ll obviously have a quick chat this evening. Again, this is not to take away from Cork. If there is a right there then I do believe we should be offered a replay. There’s possibly a loophole where they mightn’t be a replay.”
McGonigle had shouted onto the field for Dublin corner forward Lindsey Davey to challenge the referee on the call to wave Rowe’s shot wide. “Then we challenged it at half-time when we were going in the tunnel to go to it and more or less we got from our association was a shrug of the shoulders.”
He added his sense of frustration was shared by many attached to the Dublin camp. “I just talked briefly to a couple of parents, obviously they’re ripping. I’ve got texts from guys that I would obviously work with, they’ve been on to me saying it was a disgrace.”