Referee feared for safety

A referee abandoned a county intermediate football championship game eight minutes from the end as he feared for his safety.

Experienced official Jack Stafford claimed he was left with no option but to abandon the game with St Mary’s (Maudlintown) and Realt na Mara level at the time, 2-6 to 3-3.

He said: “If I was to finish that game there was no way I was going to get out without getting a few shots. I had already sent of two St Mary’s players, one on a straight red card, and the second on two yellows followed by a red card. When I awarded the penalty to Realt na Mara, the St Mary’s defender bumped into my chest, leaving me with no option but to brandish a straight red. When I requested his name he told me to eff off.

“The second St Mary’s player was sent off for persistent and dangerous fouling. This was a game I could not control. I had to start the game without linesmen, as the two appointed officials failed to appear, leaving me also to do the lines. The mentors, subs and crowd encroached some 20 meters in on to the pitch, making it impossible to officiate. There was over-the-top aggression and foul language used towards me during the game. I began to fear for my safety.

“I have no doubt had I not called off the game I would not have got out of there [Bree venue] without a few thumps. My report is now with Wexford GAA.”

Meanwhile in the senior football championship, traditional powers Gusserane and Horeswood were thrown into the relegation battle.

Gusserane suffered a 2-9 to 0-11 defeat to a Mattie Forde-inspired Kilanerin at Wexford Park. Former county star Forde hit 1-6, including an opportunist 47th-minute goal from the edge of the square, some magnificent long-range points from play and a sideline kick as his side secured their quarter-final spot.

In the weekend’s other shock result, Castletown gained a rather flattering 3-10 to 2-5 victory over Horeswood.

A Red Barry goal after 11 minutes inspired reigning champions St Anne’s to a 1-9 to 0-8 victory over Adamstown, having led 1-4 to 0-5 at the interval, while Fethard kept their title dreams alive with a 0-9 to 0-3 victory over Duffry Rovers.

Sarsfields gave their quarter-final prospects a boost as a result of their 3-8 to 2-9 victory over Starlights. They now meet Duffry Rovers in their final round game where a victory will put them in the quarter-final draw.

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