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Instant karma's going to get you

Andriu MacLochlainn knows all about karma. In the unlikely event you've forgotten, the Kildare defender was penalised for a foul on Bernard Brogan in stoppage-time at Croke Park last weekend.

The Dub ice-popped the winning point and Kildare took it very badly indeed. Was it a free?

Technically, just about. Would I have given it that late in the game? Maybe not. The losers deserved a draw. Kildare just never gave up. Courage and Kildare go together, but what goes around comes around.

Early on, MacLochlainn laughed as he passed some remarks to Alan Brogan when Dublin's best player on the day kicked a bad wide. We are sure he didn't ask Brogan if the new spuds were soapy this year up Artane way. Then at the final whistle Andriu broke down in tears. Kildare karma.

We felt sorry for the ref. He was right and he was wrong. It ain't easy being a ref.

It's a bit like being a garda. A good one is your best pal, but a bad one can cause untold damage. It all has to do with the use and abuse of power.

We were playing in the Moyvane carnival tournament against Glin back in the days when Ireland was in the Commonwealth and sausages with 2pc pork were still legal. The ref gave Glin a soft free right in front of goal to win the game.

"What was that for ref?" asked Tim 'Horse' Kennelly, not unreasonably.

"Abuse, Horse, old stock," replied the ref respectfully, seeing as it was The Horse who had six All-Irelands by then.

"You're a joke ref," I mouthed. "You're a clown."

The ref, who could be bought for a gallon, would have made it to the very top in the Vatican. He explained it all to The Horse after the game.

"Ye might not have been at me before the free, but I knew if I gave one against ye for no reason at all that little b****x Keane would abuse me anyway. That's why I gave it Horse, old stock."

It all makes perfect sense, but Frank Murphy might well call it retrospective entrapment.

The ref could well decide the result of Kerry and Cork in tomorrow's Munster final. Linesmen make a difference too.

Tomas O Se got two months for striking a Tipp player, even if it was no more than an innocuous tap from which the felled Premier man made an excellent recovery.

The linesman did a fine job in spotting the foul, but neither he nor any of his colleagues noticed the fraught build-up. Tomas would be playing tomorrow if there was early intervention.

Our fashion columnist was suspended for cheeky play last year. He put his hand in a Cork player's mouth.

Paul Galvin was rightly suspended for two months, but he took a very heavy off-the-ball tackle within seconds of coming on the field that day, from Graham Canty. It went unpunished.

Maybe the ref and his team didn't like Galvin's skinny jeans with the fitted sliotar on the front.

And nothing after from the '4Cs' who most likely have no time for shirts without collars and the exposure of permed chest hair. Early intervention is what it's all about.

The sign up at the top of this piece says columnist, not journalist. My esteemed colleagues have to look at both sides. Columnists give personal opinions, but every word I have written here is 100pc true. I can stand over it all, but I am Kerry forever.

A big old full moon followed us home from Killarney on the day I was first brought to the Munster final.

"Who is the man in the moon, dad?" I asked.

"Mick O'Connell, Bill. Sure who else could jump up high enough?"

That's the day I was hooked forever.

That's me and I'd say it's you too, whether you are dressed in green and gold or the blood and bandages. There's tradition here and memories of great days and heroic performances.

Tomorrow will be a frenetic, physical game in the tradition of Cork and Kerry.

The Gooch will be targeted from early on. If we are to win, he will have to shoot the lights out. This is a very good Cork team. They come to Killarney as proud and worthy All-Ireland champions.

There are a couple of Cork players who must be watched by the officials. If the ref doesn't know who they are he should forthwith split his whistle and hand in his pea.


Canty isn't one of them. The Galvin incident was a one-off. Graham is a superb footballer. There's something noble about him when he strides forward and lifts the team by the sheer force of his presence and his indomitable will. He reminds me so much of another Cork centre-half, Tom Creedon, my pal from UCC.

I was passing through Macroom the other day and I noticed they called the field after him. Lovely touch that. Tom died in an accident when he was a very young man. The friendships will always be there, even posthumously.

But there will be no old pals during the game. There is no rivalry like it anywhere in sport.

A man from the North told me he had a Unionist friend who turned "right quare on the 12th.'' It's the same with us down here on Munster final day. And if we win we'll bang our goatskins louder than any Lambeg. The Rebels might well be singing 'The Banks...' tomorrow afternoon, but who will win Sam?

The losers will have just one extra game and losing might actually be an advantage in the overall scheme of things. The runners-up will get another chance to fine-tune their team, whereas the winners will go cold into the quarters.

Killarney karma is when winning the Munster final comes back to haunt you.

Irish Independent