Sunday 19 November 2017

Deegan takes charge of All-Ireland replay

Maurice Deegan. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Maurice Deegan. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

After an anxious wait over the past few days Maurice Deegan is delighted to be named the man in the middle for next month's All-Ireland SFC replay between Dublin and Mayo.

It was heavily rumoured that the Deegan would get the nod for his third September showpiece after previously taking charge of the 2008 final between Tyrone and Kerry and the 2012 decider pitting Donegal against Mayo.

It will be the Laois whistler's sixth championship game of the season - he has not refereed either Dublin or Mayo yet this year - and having acted as stand-by referee for Cork's Conor Lane during last Sunday epic drawn encounter, he's relishing the occasion.

"I'm delighted, the wait was hard, I just found out yesterday morning, and I'm really honoured that I will get the chance to referee another All-Ireland final. The fact that it is a replay probably heightens it a bit," he said.

"And I'd be very competitive - after 2008 and 2012 I still wanted to do an All-Ireland. That is what kept me going and to do three is a huge honour.

"There is satisfaction in it and to be given another chance is great. In a way I can't put it into words, but I'm just very honoured. The rivalry with Dublin and Mayo at the moment, I'm just looking forward to it."

Meanwhile, Damian Barton is expected to be ratified for a second year as Derry football boss after a campaign which saw the Oak Leafers maintain their Division 2 league status on score difference before recovering from a comprehensive Ulster quarter-final defeat to Tyrone to narrowly missing out on an All-Ireland quarter-final spot.

Read more: De Paor warns his neighbours to seize opportunity

Barton, a 1993 All-Ireland winner, led Derry to within touching distance of a spot in the last eight for the first time since 2007 only to be edged out in injury time by a giant-killing Tipperary side.

In Waterford, Tom McGlinchey has been reappointed as senior football manager for 2017 despite just two competitive wins this year.

Elsewhere, LGFA president Marie Hickey is aiming to break last year's attendance record during Sunday's final between Cork and Dublin.

"We put out the record for the largest attendance at a female sporting event last year so hopefully we'll break our own record this year, which is 33,000," Hickey said.

"It's shaping up well, things are going good on the ticket front so hopefully we'll manage to achieve it."

Irish Independent

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