Stapleton was heavily-criticised for his performance but it has emerged that the referee was not wired up to an umpire at each end of the ground and had to race behind the goals to consult directly with his officials.
National Referees Association spokesman Fr Seamus Gardiner explained: “Normally there is radio equipment provided and the referee is linked to one umpire at each end. But it appears that this equipment was not available in Limerick last Sunday.”
Fr Gardiner admitted: “We don’t want fellas going from one end of the field to the other but I would also welcome the fact that umpires are involved, particularly if yellow cards are deserved, because we have been hearing complaints that umpires are not active enough.”
Fr Gardiner suspects that the radio equipment was in use for the Nemo Rangers v Ballina Stephenites football semi-final in Ennis and this may be the only set available in Munster.
He added: “If he was linked up with the umpires, some of the running down to each end would have been unnecessary. But if it’s a bookable or noting offence, the referee has to go down to the umpires.”
Meanwhile, Fr Gardiner has suggested that a number of factors are at play following a flurry of cards during the opening weeks of the new season. He said: “Players and managers should study the rules at the beginning of the leagues and I would always argue that teams should bring in intercounty referees to take charge of some of their training sessions. Maybe fellas are not as fit now as they are later in the year and this may explain why there are more yellow cards around this time.”
Meanwhile, Waterford will be without corner-back Patrick Dunphy for their Allianz NFL Division 4 game with Clare at Fraher Field, Dungarvan on Sunday, while utility defender Tomas O’Gorman is a doubtful starter. Dunphy damaged a hamstring in his debut game against Kilkenny, while O’Gorman pulled a muscle in his back when he collided with a colleague in training.
Laois report a clean bill of health for their Division 1 game against Mayo under lights at Portlaoise on Saturday.
Eamon O’Hara returns to the Sligo team for Sunday’s Division 3 game against Limerick at Markievicz Park. O’Hara received a month’s suspension following his sending off against Down in Sligo’s opening game in the League. Peter Wilson from the St Molaise Gaels Club in north Sligo injured his shoulder in a club game last weekend and may not be fit in time to get his first League start.
Brendan Egan is also recovering from a groin injury and may not be fully fit for three or four weeks. Gerry McGowan, sidelined with a hamstring injury, is not expected to be fit in time to take his place in the attack. Tommy Jordan’s side who had a League tie in the FBD Connacht League and were beaten by Down (away) and Wexford (home) in their two opening games in the League will be hoping to collect their first points on Sunday.
Meanwhile Limerick have named the same team that defeated Louth in their last game.
Jason Sherlock has been included at right corner forward on the Dublin team to meet Cavan in Division 2 under lights at Breffni Park on Saturday. The Brogan brothers Alan and Bernard occupy the twin central attacking positions of centre forward and full-forward, respectively.
Antrim have named the same side that defeated Clare last time out for their Division 3 Clash with Offaly at Casement Park under lights on Saturday.
DUBLIN (SF v Cavan): S. Cluxton; D. Henry, R. McConnell, S. O’Shaughnessy; P. McMahon, P. Casey, C. Moran; E. Fennell, S. Ryan; B. Cullen, A. Brogan, M. Vaughan; J. Sherlock, B. Brogan, B. McManamon.
ANTRIM (SF v Offaly): S. McGreevy; T. Scullion, A. McClean, K. O’Boyle; J. Loughrey, S. Kelly, J. Crozier; J. Quinn, M. McCann; A. Gallagher, K. Niblock, T. O’Neill; P. Cunningham, M. McGill, M. Dougan.
LIMERICK (SF v Sligo): S. Kiely; S. Walsh, D. McCarthy, S. Gallagher; A. Lane, S. Lavin, P. Renehan; J. Galvin, J. Cooke; G. Collins, J. Ryan, S. Buckley; I. Ryan, D. Phelan, K. O’Callaghan.