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Deserved pat on back for men in black

They are often much maligned, heavily criticised and can never get a decision right, going on the various comments that permeate from sidelines up and down the county every weekend.

However, we all know that the opposite applies with Dublin clubs blessed to have referees of the highest calibre officiating their fixtures.

Week in, week out, the referees ensure all games are officiated with a degree of common sense that helps with the flow of a game and our leagues are a richer prospect as a consequence.

In all weathers, the men in black bring a cheery disposition and a love for the game to the table, imparting knowledge and advice to players at regular intervals.

The advent of the 'black card' was supposed to cause further difficulties for men expected to have eyes in the back of their heads and often forced to referee without the benefit of linesmen or umpires.

However, this new initiative has been introduced relatively seamlessly and reflects positively on the calibre of official currently in the club game.

No Doubt: From Gwen Stefani to Brendan Devenney

Some interesting comments were made by Brendan Devenney in the build-up to the All-Ireland quarter-finals from last Saturday.

The former Donegal attacker was in typically ebullient and confident mood as he assessed a hypothetical meeting between his native county and Dublin.

Devenney stated that "Donegal would win, no doubt about it," highlighting the perceived trouble that the All-Ireland holders would have in breaching the Donegal defence.

Now that eventuality will come to pass at the end of the month, I wonder what take Devenney will have on the respective displays of the sides in their quarter-finals three days ago.

Dublin looked at ease in dealing with Monaghan's attempts to curb their attacking instincts and the manner in which they overcame that blanket defence, albeit a less refined version than Donegal's, might cast doubt in Devenney's hypothesis.