‘Referee lost control’, complains Curran

St Brigid’s goalkeeper Shane Curran blasted referee Marty Duffy for his performance in Hyde Park yesterday.

The former Roscommon No 1, who was replaced after picking up an extra-time injury, claimed the match official lost control of the game.

Just as Duffy awarded Tom King Castlebar’s equalising free in injury-time, he also appeared to signal for full-time with his arms extended.

Curran took issue for an incident a moment earlier when the referee apparently overruled his linesman, who had awarded a line ball to St Brigid’s, and handed the restart to Castlebar.

“There were 4,500 people there today and I don’t think they can understand why he overruled his linesman when a Castlebar guy kicks the ball out of play two minutes into injury-time. Ridiculous.”

Curran added: “At that stage of the game, he had lost complete control of it. But that’s not to take away from Castlebar. They were outstanding, they played fantastic. They turned a five-point deficit into a five-point lead.

“We showed why we were All-Ireland champions, came back and led the game by two points. We were beaten; we were beaten by a better team and that’s the bottom line.”

Curran didn’t see the incident for which Darragh Donnelly was sent off in the second minute of first half extra-time but said: “All I can tell you is I’ve never seen Darragh Donnelly sent off in my life. I’ve never seen him do anything wrong on a football pitch.”

St Brigid’s manager Benny O’Brien took a more diplomatic line on Duffy, disagreeing with Curran’s assessment of the Sligo official.

“Marty Duffy did not kick any points or score any goals for them. It was all of our own making. It is an easy option to point the finger at the referee and say he did this or did that.

“These things tend to balance themselves out. Okay, there were a couple of decisions you would feel aggrieved about but the referee was not the cause of us losing the game today.”

Curran, 43 next year, said he hadn’t yet made his mind up about his club future. “I never retired in the first place. I always said — and I’ve been pretty consistent on this — that the game gives you up. Some day it will. I don’t know whether today is that day or not.”


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