Monday 5 December 2016

'I definitely missed it': All-Ireland final replay ref admits John Small should have been black carded against Mayo

Published 30/11/2016 | 20:50

Referee Maurice Deegan, who officiated this year's All-Ireland football final replay between Dublin and Mayo, has admitted that he should have black carded John Small early in the game.

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The Dublin defender appeared to hand-trip Andy Moran in the opening exchanges, but Deegan opted not to issue a black card. He later gave black cards to Dublin's Jonny Cooper and to Mayo duo Lee Keegan and Robbie Hennelly.

Speaking to RTE Radio Sport this afternoon, Deegan admitted that Small should have joined the aforementioned trio in the stand, but escaped the sanctioned because the referee and is officiating team weren't certain of the offence.

"In my view, I’m happy that I got the three of them right," Deegan said of the Cooper, Keegan and Hennelly decisions.

"But I will say one thing, I definitely missed the black card that I should have got. That was in the first five minutes of the game.

“It was John Small on Andy Moran. 

“I wasn’t 100% sure that I saw it. We were wired up. Obviously, when you come to Croke Park your umpires and everyone is wired up.

“I would have asked my linesman did he see it, and he said he didn’t see it clearly. When you don’t see it clearly – and especially from where I was standing, I couldn’t see it clearly either – I asked the umpires and no one had seen it properly, they weren’t 100% sure. 

Dublin went on to win the game by a single point to collect their second consecutive All-Ireland football title and their fourth in six seasons.

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