Monday 23 October 2017

Gough still out of loop for Dublin and Kerry games

David Gough takes charge of the Tyrone-Armagh clash on Saturday. Photo: Sportsfile
David Gough takes charge of the Tyrone-Armagh clash on Saturday. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

David Gough's appointment as referee for Saturday's All-Ireland quarter-final between Tyrone and Armagh will ensure that it will be almost a year since he has taken charge of a game involving Dublin or Kerry.

Gough refereed the All-Ireland semi-final between football's two power-brokers last August but drew an irate reaction from Kerry supporters over a number of decisions that went against their team, most notably Kevin McManamon's hit on Peter Crowley late on that turned over possession for the insurance score at the other end for Diarmuid Connolly.

Earlier in the match he over-ruled one of his umpires to give Dublin a '45' which Dean Rock converted when replays clearly showed that McManamon had fisted the ball out over the line.

The Meath official admitted more than six months later, in an interview with his local radio station LM/FM, that he was unsighted when McManamon collided with Crowley and would have given a free to Kerry if he had a proper view.

"What people didn't realise at the time was I didn't know I had missed what I had missed," he reflected.

"I don't know how many times I have watched it back since. I know I got it wrong. I didn't get it wrong on purpose, I just didn't see it.

"Michael Fitzsimons, the Dublin corner-back, had come on that day and he had just crossed my line of vision," he told the station.

Gough had objects thrown at him as he came off the field after the game and some of the post-match focus was on his occupation as a primary schoolteacher in Terenure on Dublin's southside.

But Gough, who grew up and played football in Slane, has stressed in another interview that he has no allegiance to Dublin football and has also pointed to how rugby referees like Nigel Owens and Wayne Barnes have taken charge of Heineken Cup games involving clubs from their own country and it wasn't an issue.

Dublin have since played five championship games (including two All-Ireland finals against Mayo) and eight league games, while Kerry have also eight league games and three in the championship without Gough featuring.

The counties have met twice in the league when Sean Hurson and Paddy Neilan took charge.

All the other top officials have been rolled out for at least one game involving either Kerry or Dublin with the exception of Gough.

The Meath man has not been a regular for Dublin matches in particular and prior to the 2016 All-Ireland semi-final he hadn't handled one of their games since the 2015 league draw with Tyrone.

But he took charge of the Kerry-Cork games in league and championship in 2016.

Gough has earned praise from Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and his Roscommon counterpart Kevin McStay after championship matches this year.

Joe McQuillan did not referee a Kerry match for two-and-a-half years, 11 championship and 19 league games, after their 2011 All-Ireland final loss to Dublin.

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Irish Independent

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