Wednesday 18 October 2017

Rushe: 'There was lads killing each other and hardly a whistle blown'

Liam Rushe: Asking for consistency. Photo: Dan Sheridan/INPHO
Liam Rushe: Asking for consistency. Photo: Dan Sheridan/INPHO
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

It's still raw for Liam Rushe, the championship exit at the hands of Cork.

And what makes it all the more galling is that he feels they didn't get dealt the same hand as everyone else.

The deciding moment of their defeat to the Rebels came when Chris Crummey was sent to the line in the first half for picking up two yellow cards.

From there, Dublin battled manfully to the end but Cork scraped out of Páirc Uí Rinn with a win. And Dublin's season was over.

At the time, Rushe wasn't happy with referee Paud O'Dwyer's decision on Crummey's two yellows.

And what he saw in the Leinster final the next day only compounded his misery.

"I was right behind it, I was the next man going in," Rushe recalls of the incident that saw Crummey pick up his second yellow card.

"Look, there was nothing in it. We all know one of the major problems in the GAA is refereeing inconsistencies.

"Neither of Chris' yellows would have been yellows the following day in the Leinster final the way it was reffed. There was lads killing each other and there was hardly a whistle blown!

"It's just the way it is, you have to read the referee on the day and unfortunately Crummey's two fouls were very early and you could almost see it coming.

"I don't know am I over (the result) yet. It's the same old process you go through every year. It was misfortunate wasn't it?

"Looking back, people are telling you, 'You were so unlucky' and I think by and large by how close we were a lot of people forgot that we were down a man for about 45 minutes.

"We fought as hard as we could and we were a few refereeing decisions away from a win."

This week might have been much different for Rushe had they managed to get over the Rebels as they could be preparing for an All-Ireland quarter-final.

Though he's not surprised now to see Wexford in the last six in the race for Liam MacCarthy this weekend.

Cork, he felt, were vulnerable but now he must watch as the side they beat by 13 points in Leinster play Waterford for a spot in the last four.

"Obviously you never know what way the draw would have gone and I don't think we could have gotten Wexford again anyway," adds the Palmerston man. "It might have been someone different.

"It was kind of set up for us. If we could have gone down there and gotten a win against Cork in their back garden it would have been a great boost to confidence."

Dublin used several new faces this year as Ger Cunningham started to put his stamp on things and Rushe is confident that Dublin's rebuild will be successful.

"The age profile has gone back again to when I first started so it's just an unfortunate realisation that we're in the middle of a rebuilding process at the moment.

"Last year was Ger (Cunningham's) first year and he inherited a panel and this year he put his own stamp on it but there were 10 U-21s on the panel, I think," Rushe continues.

"Four or five of them started and five or six of them featured against Cork so a team that young, it's going to take a couple of years.

"So this year and last year will stand to a lot of them and hopefully we can bring in a few more.

"We saw the likes of Chris Bennett this year, in the last game he was showing form, Sean Treacy, it's just waiting for some of those lads to mature and drive on.

"The team is just as good. Obviously we didn't win, but we won our first Leinster U-21 since 2011, since I was there.

"So it is a good team and it will be strong again next year. We've been unfortunate at underage for the last few years but it's all about bringing through two, three or four underage players from every minor or U-21 team.

"It's a process. The cycle of the last team under (Anthony) Daly kind of peaked and we were on the decline. But now we're on the up a bit."

Irish Independent

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