Derry boss Brian McIver ‘disgusted’ by display of referee Branagan after defeat by Mayo

Brian McIver said he was "disgusted" with the performance of referee Ciaran Branagan after Derry’s defeat by Mayo.

Derry boss Brian McIver ‘disgusted’ by display of referee Branagan after defeat by Mayo

The Derry manager, who complained bitterly about the performance of David Coldrick in his side’s derby with Tyrone last weekend, was visibly annoyed after the game.

“Disgusted. I’m disgusted. Not taking anything away from Mayo but they got a jammy goal and every decision going,” said the Oak Leaf boss.

His side lost James Kielt to a black card for dissent in the final few moments, not long after Mayo’s Mark Ronaldson had been sent to the line for pulling down Kevin Johnston.

The frustration was visible on the Derry players during the second half as they complained time and again at the Down official’s decisions, with Mark Lynch vocal in querying how Barry Moran had escaped a card after chopping him down as he bore down on goal.

“The James Kielt one at the end; we get men around and they get a free and we get a black card. They do the same with us and it’s a free out for over-carrying. How do you work that one out? Time and time again, all day.”

Asked if he had sought to speak to the referee after the game, McIver replied: “You mightn’t even talk to them. You’re looking at the inner sanctuary.”

Derry had produced their best display of the campaign to date but were ultimately beaten by Mikey Sweeney’s last-minute goal. Brian Óg McGilligan’s fisted effort seconds later proved only a consolation.

“To be fair, I can’t take anything away from our performance. I thought the lads played the shirts off their backs. We were well in the game.

“We needed points out of this match. But listen, we’ll go to Monaghan next week and hope we get the same level of performance and get a few breaks over the next two or three matches.”

Mayo joint manager Noel Connelly — who confirmed that he will carry just two goalkeepers for the championship, meaning bad news for one of David Clarke, Robbie Hennelly or Kenneth O’Malley — wasn’t in agreement with McIver’s assessment of the refereeing performance.

“If you examine the whole game overall, you’d have to say he was fair. Going in at half-time, there were decisions where we felt we were harshly done by. If you take the referee’s performance over the whole game, I don’t think either side can be too disappointed.”

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