Murphy: Killeen’s sending off ‘harsh in the extreme’

Galway boss Mattie Murphy described Paul Killeen’s sending-off in yesterday’s Electric Ireland All-Ireland MHC semi-final as “harsh in the extreme.”

And Murphy accused Tipp manager William Maher of “invading his space” as the pair clashed on the touchline with 11 minutes remaining.

Murphy, who has completed his 12th season in charge of the Galway minors, spread over three different spells, was also non-committal on his future but hinted he may step aside following this five-point defeat.

On the subject of Killeen’s sending-off, for an innocuous looking clash with Tipp sub Seán Maher in the 45th minute, Murphy reflected: “It was harsh in the extreme. I respect Tony Carroll. He’s refereed a lot of games for us and he is a good referee. I wasn’t on his case for all the match about steps or anything like that. It wasn’t me who was on his case, you know?

“But I will say to him when I meet him, and I will meet him, and we will still have a good relationship because I respect him, but I will say to Tony when he looks at it in the cold light of day... he hasn’t the benefit of hindsight and has to make the decision on the spur of the moment, he obviously thought it was a lot more serious than I did.”

Murphy accepted there was tension between himself and Maher in the final quarter, adding: “There is kind of an unwritten rule that you don’t invade your opponents space.

“There’s a middle line where the tunnel is. You never see me going across it. If I need to get a message to somebody I’ll send my runner.”

Murphy, who has spent the last five seasons in charge, has completed a two-year term. And when asked if he will go again, the former senior boss responded: “That’s a very big question. This is a game for young fellas. We have a few in that age group in Galway that might fit the bill.

“If I was to give you an answer now it would be in the negative rather than in the positive.”

Meanwhile, Tipp manager William Maher shrugged off his altercation with Murphy. The 1996 All-Ireland minor winning captain said: “These things happen. Mattie is a fantastic manager, six All-Ireland minor titles – Mr Galway as regards Galway minor management.”

And Maher accepted the loss of Killeen for Galway was a major turning point. “I didn’t even see the incident. I can’t comment on it. But it had a detrimental effect on Galway’s performance. 15 playing 14 at Croke Park makes a big difference. It had a big bearing on the outcome.”

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