Dublin manager Gregory McGonigle has accused champions Cork of “cynicism” and “systematic” fouling during last Saturday’s Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1 semi-final.
And McGonigle believes that Deirdre O’Reilly’s tackle on Lyndsey Davey, which forced the Dublin forward out of the game late on, would have resulted in a citing if it happened in rugby.
After she was caught high by 10-time All-Ireland winner O’Reilly, former Dublin skipper Davey required lengthy treatment before she was helped to the touchline.
Referee Gerry Carmody opted to take no action against O’Reilly and McGonigle fumed: “In rugby, a high tackle like that would be cited.
“I’m not saying Deirdre O’Reilly meant it but are Cork players able to be sin-binned?
“We had two sin-binnings, be them rightly or wrongly, against Galway (in the group stages) and Siobhán Woods got caught by Gavin Corrigan, the fourth official, for a tug of the jersey against Armagh.
“We don’t have any complaints but we do have serious complaints when one of our players tried to be taken out in the first-half (by Cork) with a tackle, and then again systematically by the same player, caught around the neck.
“And not even a yellow, didn’t even get spoken to. Believe it or not, I actually rate Gerry Carmody as a very good referee but to me he bottled it.
“If you can’t see five yards in front of you, we may pack it in or we may realise in Dublin we’re not going to be getting any favouritism or fair play.”
McGonigle’s comments may land him in hot water with the Ladies Gaelic Football Association – as he insisted Cork were guilty of cynicism at St Brendan’s Park in Birr.
McGonigle added: “In fairness to Cork, obviously Ephie (Fitzgerald) keeps talking about his strength and conditioning programme but I think somewhere there have to be rules in Ladies football where consistent fouling…there’s no cynicism? I saw loads of cynicism.” Cork overturned a two-point half-time deficit to outscore Dublin 0-11 to 0-2 in the second-half. But the Sky Blues went into battle without four players who sustained injuries in recent club games, with influential half-back and former skipper Sinead Goldrick restricted to a substitute’s role in the second-half.
But McGonigle insists the 2016 league campaign has been productive as thoughts now turn to the championship for Dublin, who have lost the last two All-Ireland senior finals to Cork.
He said: “We’d have been happy, with the five or six missing, that young Niamh Ryan came in and made her debut, had a very good game, scored a point, set up a couple of scores.
“Niamh McEvoy had about 40 minutes, she had a dead quad but we had to play her because we were down numbers.
“We’ll lick our wounds and get back, 32 players have started in the National League and 35 got game time so we’re in a strong position going into the Leinster championship.”
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