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'You could see madness in his eyes' - Tomás Ó Sé believes standard of refereeing has improved despite criticism

Meath manager Andy McEntee is restrained by Cillian O'Sullivan after confronting the referee following the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 1 match between Meath and Tyrone at Páirc Táilteann in Navan, Co Meath. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Meath manager Andy McEntee is restrained by Cillian O'Sullivan after confronting the referee following the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 1 match between Meath and Tyrone at Páirc Táilteann in Navan, Co Meath. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The image of Meath manager Andy McEntee being restrained by his own players as he tried to remonstrate with referee Paddy Neilan after Saturday's dramatic round one qualifier defeat to Tyrone has sparked a lot of debate.

McEntee was just one of many managers who took umbrage with refereeing decisions across both hurling and football over the weekend but his reaction after the final whistle was by far the most animated.

A Meath penalty claim that was turned down and the fact that a foul on James McEntee that would have levelled the game wasn't awarded were the main reasons for the Royals boss to lose his cool.

Speaking on The Throw-In, Independent.ie's GAA podcast, Kerry legend Tomás Ó Sé said he understood McEntee's emotions but the scenes are the game were unwelcome.

"I can understand where Andy McEntee was coming from," he said.

"Meath have had success, their supporters have had that success as well and there is pressure on them. They've had a tough league, a tough few years to be fair about it. You get to place in the second half where you should have saw out the game, compounded then by the peno claim and the definite free that was there.

"Credit to Tyrone but Andy McEntee afterwards... it looked horrible. It looked terrible on the field.

"You could see madness in his eyes as well. He had lost the plot. I can understand it, he has put his life on hold for this stuff and Meath are at a stage where that win would have done so much for them.

"I think it is very disappointing for Meath and there was a sour taste after the match.

"They were hard done by by the ref and there is no point in glossing over it. We all know that Paddy Neilan has to go home and face a day's work.

"Players and management spent so much time getting this right and calls are wrong on the day, it can be very frustrating for them.

"If that call was made in the first 10 minutes, we wouldn't be talking about it at all."

Ó Sé feels that despite some scathing comments on the performance of officials this year, the standard of refereeing is improving.

"One the whole I do think that referees, and I'd be hard on referees, over the last two years have improved. I think they have got most of the big calls right. You'll always have poor refereeing decisions," he added.

"I'll always have an issue with the black card and I think it is very hard for referees in implementing it. I think the refereeing now is of a better standard now than it has been five, six or seven years ago."

Subscribe to The Throw-In, Independent.ie's weekly GAA podcast in association with Allianz, for the best in GAA discussion and analysis every week, with some of the biggest names in football and hurling from Joe Brolly, Tomás Ó'Sé and John Mullane.

Subscribe and listen to The Throw-In podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud.

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