Monday 20 November 2017

Fog frustrates Dubs and Mayo in game of one half

JOHN FALLON

Both managers and match referee Marty Duffy agreed that there was no choice but to abandon last night's Allianz Football League Division 1 clash between Mayo and Dublin at McHale Park after dense fog descended on the pitch.

"It was too dangerous," said referee Duffy. "I couldn't see the four corners of the field. We waited a while but it was obvious it was not going to lift," said the Sligo official.

Mayo manager James Horan and Dublin boss Pat Gilroy agreed with Duffy's decision, although both regretted it as it was shaping up to be a good contest, with Dublin 0-8 to 0-5 ahead. The dismissal of wing-back James McCarthy, when he received a straight red after being adjudged to have let his elbow back at Alan Freeman, will now become the focus of some attention.

Gilroy said that, as far as he was concerned, the red card would be rescinded because the game was not finished.

"I thought James was just protecting himself, but, in any event, I believe it now gets rescinded. But the referee was definitely right to call it off. It was too dangerous. Guys couldn't see each other," said Gilroy.

Mayo boss Horan agreed and did not rule out going to Croke Park for the refixture. "We all love playing in Croke Park, so I wouldn't rule it out but it will be a decision for others. The referee was correct to call it off, but it was a pity because it was a good contest and could have got better," he said.

Dublin, with Diarmuid Connolly shooting three points, landed seven without reply at one stage, but Mayo started and finished the first half quite well before the game fell victim to the fog at the interval.

Meanwhile, speculation that Gerry Cooney's tenure at the helm of Offaly senior footballers is already nearing an end was rubbished by county board chairman Pat Teehan last night.

Local reports suggested that Cooney, who only took charge of the Faithful County last November, could see his term end with defeat at the hands of Roscommon later today.

A team meeting was held last Tuesday night in which management and players both aired their grievances, but chairman Teehan totally dismissed the suggestion that Cooney could walk away from the position.

"That's absolute rubbish and it's the first I've heard of it," Teehan said. "There's absolutely nothing in that. Yes, we went down badly last week, but the team is depleted at the moment and we are down a number of players. And yes, a meeting was held during the week but that's the norm for any team after a defeat like that."

Elsewhere, the Cork footballers were last night handed a boost with the news that the CCCC had cleared star forward Paul Kerrigan for today's vital league clash against Down.

After seeing red against Armagh last Sunday, Kerrigan was reported for "attempting to strike with the head", but upon appeal the CCCC decided that case against him could not be proven and accepted the alleged infraction did not occur.

GAA president Christy Cooney yesterday insisted that Derrytresk were given a fair hearing during the inquiry and appeals that followed the now infamous All-Ireland Club JFC semi-final against Dromid Pearses of Kerry.

The Tyrone champions go into today's final against Clonbur of Galway still smarting over what they believe was an unduly heavy raft of sanctions in terms of suspensions and restrictions placed on the club's future playing activities.

"I don't accept that any club that comes before us will be treated unfairly or unjustly," said Cooney.

"They got a very fair hearing, and the Hearings Committee gave out their suspensions to the players and to the club which, ultimately, were appropriate."

The GAA president added: "We are where we are, they have an All-Ireland final to play. Now we hope they will focus on that All-Ireland final, which is the most important thing for the club."

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