Friday 24 January 2020

Dempsey fumes at 'incessant' Wicklow fouling

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

CARLOW boss Luke Dempsey could hardly contain his frustration in the wake of his side's Leinster championship defeat to Wicklow yesterday, accusing the Garden County men of negative tactics.

Dempsey exchanged words with rival manager Mick O'Dwyer during the first half and, in the bowels of O'Moore Park after the game, he expressed his disappointment at Wicklow's style of play.

Carlow's Brendan Murphy and Tommy Walsh and Wicklow's Nicky Mernagh picked up red cards in the game.

"Wicklow's incessant fouling, maybe that's where we have to improve during the summer and be more professional in terms of knowing what referees are going to be doing," Dempsey complained.

"But he (the referee) really suited their style of play. It was non-stop fouling and very little punishment for it.

"They keep bandying about these new rules. It was a lottery. You wouldn't know when the ball was going to be thrown up, when there was going to be a free for one of these under-hand fist-passes.

"The first Wicklow goal was clearly a throw and an over-carry. Having said that, that's not the reason we lost. But the referee was very frustrating. You couldn't get a run at it."

O'Dwyer also admitted to struggling with Galway official Gearoid Ó Conamha's interpretation of the rules.

"When they keep changing the rules you're going to have all these things," said the Kerry native.

"Sure it's crazy what they're at, they should let the game alone. It's going fine. They want to change and change again and it's making it tough for the referees more than anything.

"It was an exceptionally clean game of football, great stuff like, good tackling and all of that. I mean that's crazy stuff (the amount of cards in the match). In my time there wouldn't even be half a card given, let alone a full one."

O'Dwyer also called on the Leinster Council to fix their Leinster SFC clash with Westmeath for Portlaoise on June 6, with Tullamore the other likely venue.

"We'll be hoping the game is in Portlaoise, which is a neutral venue. They took us away up to Tullamore last year.

"I mean asking people from Bray and Greystones and Arklow to travel over a hundred miles to a venue whereas Westmeath can only walk down the road to it is all wrong.

"A neutral venue, that's all we're asking for."

Irish Independent

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