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Daly is marked present for finals

I don't know where Noel Daly has his tent pitched but he has attended every final at the centre in the past few weeks. In fact there was a large gathering of AFL officials at last Monday's Matt O'Leary final.

'What else would you be doing on a Monday?' I hear you ask, but still it was great to see. And when you argue that referees are only it for the money, well not in our league they're not!

Joe McDonnell, Mick Lynch, Paddy Hughes and Charlie Pierce were there. Retiree Danno Brazil was also in attendance and no doubt Ray Lynch was peeping through the bushes somewhere.

Wojtiech Ponarad, Gay Murphy and Brendan Twamley had to be there because they were officiating and Brendan Emerson sent his apologies as he was doing a stand-up gig in Vicar Street.

It was Brendan's first final in charge and he was faultless. I usually hear a few words of complaint from the players afterwards but not a whisper. Well done Brendan.

I met another referee there also – John McCarthy. John, as some of you will know, is a member of the Gardaí, he was on duty Monday, not point duty but refereeing duty.

He was dropping in his card from the game you see. Now most of you will know that when there is a decent crowd at the centre getting out of there can be a bit of a pain.

The lights are green for about 20 seconds and it causes a major tailback. It was unusually slow on Monday.

Why? Because big John arrived with his card, against the flow causing bedlam!

GRIFF'S GREAT EFFORT

Many of you will remember the 1988 Euros when we almost worked the oracle. There were only eight teams, so we were effectively in the quarters at outset.

We were denied a semi spot by an offside Dutch goal late on in the final group game and we were the only nation that Russia played and didn't beat in the tournament.

Marco van Basten scored a wonder goal in the final a volley from an impossible angle. Well it wouldn't be fair to say that Keith Griffin almost replicated it on Monday.

Because if Griffin's effort, that struck the crossbar had gone in, it would have been a better goal, truly!

dermot clarke


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