Longford boss comes to Brian Kavanagh’s defence against claims of diving

Longford manager Denis Connerton has rubbished Westmeath boss Tom Cribbin’s claim that Brian Kavanagh is “a diver”.

Following Westmeath’s loss to their neighbours on Sunday which condemned them to Division 4 next season, Cribbin claimed Longford forward Kavanagh had hoodwinked referee Niall Cullen.

“I thought there was a fair bit of diving too, to be honest with you. Brian Kavanagh is known for it and when you watch it back on DVD usually you can see, although we had done a lot of work on that.”

However, Connerton defended his player yesterday. “I wouldn’t see Brian as any sort of a diver. Brian is a very experienced and committed player to Longford.

“I will look back at the game and the frees but off the top of my head, I can only recall one free he was awarded. Tom was disappointed after the defeat and being so disappointed it’s natural that some people will look at things differently.”

Connerton continued: “I haven’t just watched Brian as a manager but as a supporter too and seen him playing club games in Dublin. He’s one of our main scorers so it’s obvious he will get a good bit of close contact. He gets a good bit of abuse but he is a fine, strong fella and never complains. It’s only right he should be marked tightly but this diving claim is not a fair allegation.”

Connerton also praised the standard of referees at inter-county level. “I find referees are very sharp, fit and nearly up with the play all of the time. It seems I’m getting older and these boys are getting fitter and fitter. You will always have disagreements.

“Against Kildare, we had a lad who was being pulled to the ground but the ref saw it that he was pulling his opponent down and gave him a yellow instead. But referees are doing a fine job.”


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