Crucial decision puts referee in the spotlight

Was it a penalty or not?

This was the question on everyone’s lips in the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday night after referee Cathal McAllister had blown Limerick corner-back Tom Condon for what looked like a perfectly-timed tackle on Offaly’s Seán Ryan.

Condon was sent off for a second yellow card offence and Shane Dooley then buried the penalty to draw the game.

Defender Condon vowed to take the decision “on the chin” but felt he won the ball fairly: “I thought I had blocked the ball down first and then the two of us just collided. But the referee only had a view of the play from behind, he didn’t have a full-on view. That was his decision and the umpire seemed to agree with him. You just have to take it on the chin.”

And Limerick manager John Allen admitted the penalty wasn’t his biggest annoyance from the night. He reasoned: “The easy option is to blame the final goal, the penalty, but the fact is we did create the chances to win, we took points when goals were on and relinquished a six-point lead. Obviously we’re disappointed with that but we live to fight another day.”


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