Munster final referee Duffy raises hackles in Clones

I caught five games over the weekend culminating in the double-header in Croke Park yesterday, where both referees had decent games.

There was some consternation about the free given to Dublin in injury-time in the first half prior to Bernard Brogan’s goal.

However, Joe McQuillan was quite correct to give the free against Johnny Doyle on the Hogan Stand sideline for an illegal shoulder challenge.

Only one minute of injury time was announced and there is still plenty of room for clarity on this issue as play doesn’t appear to be finishing at the time allowed by the referee.

McQuillan allowed a lot of physical play to go unpenalised in the opening 10 minutes, but the game soon settled down thereafter.

Maurice Deegan was good in the first match between Meath and Wexford, although he did miss a double-hop by David Murphy in the move which led to Adrian Flynn’s score in the 22nd minute.

Perhaps the most controversial decisions over the weekend were in Clones where Marty Duffy, who referees Sunday’s Munster final between Cork and Kerry, was in charge.

Monaghan should have been awarded a penalty five minutes in when Alan Clarke handled the ball on the ground.

There was also the suggestion the ball went over the line, but the TV footage of that wasn’t conclusive.

Monaghan’s Dick Clerkin picked up one yellow card but he did enough to pick up another two after a foot and then a hand trip.

But it was the non-decision by Duffy in the final stages that will be remembered most when Monaghan goalkeeper Rory Beggan clearly went 10 steps without playing the ball. Cavan should have been awarded a free-in and a chance of equalising the match.

I took in Longford’s qualifier with Limerick on Saturday evening where David Gough was the man in the middle and the game petered out tamely enough, although there were a couple of umpire issues.

Gough had to overrule one scoring decision taken by one of his assistants and I still believe the guidelines for umpiring create too much confusion. Limerick felt aggrieved at one stage when a foul wasn’t given to Johnny McCarthy, but it was later clarified to me that he had pulled Paul Barden.

I must say I enjoyed the Friday night experience in Dr Cullen Park.

Fergal Kelly was in charge and there was a period before half time and in the opening minutes of the second half when a few 50/50 calls went against Carlow.

I marked down those as occurring in the 34th, 40th and 42nd minutes, which all went the way of Laois, and Carlow should have been awarded a scoreable free in the 44th minute.


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