Thursday 24 May 2018

'We preach all year about equality' - Dubs boss fuming after Hawkeye absence sees disallowed All-Ireland final point

Dublin players dejected
Dublin players dejected

Sinead Farrell

Dublin Ladies Football boss Gregory McGonigle has hit out at the Ladies Gaelic Football Association for failing to have Hawk-Eye in operation during today’s All-Ireland senior football final.

Dublin lost out to Cork by a one point margin in Croke Park but a first half point from Dublin’s Carla Rowe has emerged as a contentious issue from the game. Rowe’s shot which was later proven on video footage to have gone over the bar, would have made the scoreline three points a piece and ultimately would have resulted in a draw with a replay to follow.

According to McGonigle, they contested the score during the game but were told that Hawk-Eye was not in use for the game.

McGonigle said: “I shouted onto the field to Lyndsey Davey to challenge Brendan Rice and he came over and it was more or less a ‘no.’ And then we challenged again in the tunnel and more or less what we got from the association was a shrug of the shoulders.

“We preach all year about equality and having standards. If this happened next Saturday (The All-Ireland Final) we would be going to Hawk-Eye. The basics you should be getting is the same as what the men’s should get. Fundamentally, I think our Ladies Association has let us down.”

He added: “People have been on to me saying that it’s a disgrace. Cork are after creating history yet we’re going to be talking about this point. It seems in Ladies sport that every time we take two steps forward, we end up kicking ourselves in the backside and going back.”

McGonigle also stressed that his side were happy with the performance of referee Brendan Rice and his team of officials, but reiterated that the LGFA were ill-prepared for the game without the provision of Hawk-Eye.

Commenting on whether or not the Dublin County board will appeal the decision in the hope of earning a replay, McGonigle said that he has spoken to members of the Dublin Ladies County board about looking at their options but that nothing formal has been arranged yet.

“If there is a right there, I do believe we should be offered a replay. Again, that’s for the association (to decide).

“When I come in to any team, we always talk about standards and if you look at a management point of view, you always stand over your standards. If you’re not right on the day as regards your preparation, then you hold your hands up but I believe that today we were as good as we were in any game bar maybe some of our shooting.”

“I think the association has to look at do they really take care of the players. We need to be setting our own standards and if the lesson from this year is that Hawk Eye will be there for next year, then that’s something that should be implemented.”

The Hawk-Eye system - which is used to determine whether a score should be given when the officials are unsure - is only operable during men’s GAA matches. When asked about whether or not the LGFA and Camogie Association should merge with the GAA, McGonigle said:

“I think that touches on a bigger issue. I would fundamentally think that the GAA wants to integrate but I think that Ladies Football wouldn’t want to integrate because certain people then wouldn’t have a role.”

A spokesperson for the LGFA said that the option to implement Hawk-Eye in Ladies Football, went before central council but was not accepted on the grounds that not every pitch in the country has Hawk-Eye and that it would therefore ‘not be a level playing field’ for all teams.

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