Wednesday 24 January 2018

Carlow boss Dempsey hits out over ref 'cop-outs'

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

CARLOW U-21 and senior football manager Luke Dempsey has slammed referees for not protecting high fielding on all occasions, which would help avoid scenes like the controversial ending to their Leinster U21 semi-final against Dublin midweek.

Referee Joe Curley needed a garda escort off Dr Cullen Park on Wednesday night after incensing Carlow fans with a controversial late call.

"When a player goes up and makes a fantastic catch in a crowded area, unless he clearly falls to the ground by a complete accident, he should be given a free immediately," Dempsey argued.

"But referees cop out by letting play continue and then making the easier call. Once a player is grounded they should be making the call immediately, not waiting to see what develops," he said.

Carlow were trailing by just a point in the dying minute when former Aussie Rules star Brendan Murphy caught a line-ball 25 metres out from the Dublin goal.

He fell to the ground after the catch and was surrounded by Dublin defenders and referee Curley gave a free out for over-carrying.

But Dempsey remains adamant that Murphy only fell because he was fouled and that he should have got a free in which would inevitably have brought the game to a replay.

"As Brendan himself said why on earth would a referee think that he'd just fall to the ground himself when he was in such a good scoring position?" said Dempsey.

"I asked him how he gave a free out when our player was blatantly dragged down but he said Brendan wasn't fouled.

"I'm still feeling very angry. The last thing you want to see is continuous garda escorts for referees, but referees have to take responsibility themselves for terrible mistakes like that," Dempsey fumed.

Irish Independent

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