Stephen Rochford hopes referee allows Mayo ‘big calls’

Stephen Rochford says he hopes Mayo don’t lose out on the “big calls” against Dublin, as he claims they did in last year’s All-Ireland final replay.

As Mayo and Dublin await the appointment of the referee, Rochford said at last night’s All-Ireland final press briefing in Breaffy that Mayo didn’t get the rub of the green from Maurice Deegan last October.

“Look, some calls went against us that I think definitely shaped that game. Maurice Deegan came out afterwards to say that he missed the blatant hand trip with John Small [on Andy Moran], which had an effect on Dublin being able to still use a substitute when Cian O’Sullivan pulled his hamstring with six, seven minutes to go. It would have been interesting to see would their bench have been able to replace [him] in a game of such tight margins. They’re big calls.

“Lee Keegan’s black card last year... it’s still a difficult one to sort of deal with on the back of the publicity that he got in the lead-up to that game, but look, in many ways, it’s history and we look forward to the referee and hopefully they’ll have as good a game as the two teams.”

Rochford reiterated there was a “concerted effort” waged in the media by former Dublin players against Keegan’s character prior to the replay, and he said “it is important that the best man for the job gets it”.

Joe McQuillan and Pádraig Hughes are in the shake-up for the role on September 17.

Mayo’s Colm Boyle (Achilles heel), Diarmuid O’Connor (hamstring) and Donie Vaughan (do), who shipped knocks against Kerry last Saturday, did not train this week, but Rochford said Boyle and Vaughan will train this weekend. “Diarmuid is due to return to training early next week or the middle of next week,” he said.

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