Sunday 18 March 2018

Video: 'How can a man go to ground like that?' - Pete McGrath slates Aidan O'Shea for 'dive' Newsdesk Newsdesk

There was huge controversy in Castlebar this afternoon after a late penalty call saw Mayo squeak past Fermanagh in Round 2B of the qualifiers.

With the home side trailing by one point in the final ten minutes, a long ball was angled towards Aidan O'Shea, who hit the ground in the small rectangle after what appeared to be a tug of the jersey.

Read more: Mayo record controversial comeback win over Fermanagh after second half surge

The referee gave a penalty but replays showed that the Allstar forward flopped to the ground untouched.

RTE commentator Tommy Carr was in no doubt as to what O'Shea did to win the penalty.

"It might have appeared to be a foul but it was a dive," Carr said.

"It looks like a dive to me there," echoed Dessie Dolan in the studio.

Mayo defender Keith Higgins, however, disagreed in his post-match interview on RTE.

"I thought it was a penalty all right," Higgins said.

In contrast, Fermanagh boss Pete McGrath was devastated and angered by the decision after watching a replay of the incident.

"That was absolutely and totally a dive," he told RTE.

"How can a man go to the ground like that with the very minimal amount of contact?

"I've every respect for Aidan O'Shea, he's a marvellous footballer and I'm not saying that maybe we would not have done the same thing but the referee certainly bought that hook, line and sinker.

"For a team to train as diligently as we trained and for people to commit... I'm not saying that we would have won the game had the penalty not been awarded but certainly in the overall context of the game, the penalty was the defining moment and that was an exceptionally soft penalty.

"I've been told that on social media, the referee has been ridiculed because it was a dive and it should never have been awarded and that makes it doubly disappointing."

People watching agreed with the RTE pundits and the Fermanagh boss rather than Higgins.

Online Editors

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