Sport Hurling

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Allen a gracious exception to ref-bashing bosses

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

IN an era when post-match interviews with managers have a wearying tendency to wander towards match officiating, affording the losing boss the opportunity to blame the referee, it was refreshing to hear to John Allen refusing the invitation to criticise Barry Kelly after the Limerick-Tipperary clash last Sunday.

Asked whether he thought Patrick 'Bonner' Maher had over-carried before setting up the second-half goal chance for Brian O'Meara he replied: "I thought in the first half, we got the rub of the green. I would have no doubt that he (Maher) held onto the ball too long, but the referee has to make the decision in real time and we have to accept it."

It would have been easy to rage against the decision as the goal was vital to the outcome, but Allen chose to acknowledge just how difficult it is for referees to make crucial calls in a split second. He even mentioned how he thought the breaks went Limerick's way in the first half.

And when Allen was asked who he phoned from the sideline at half-time, he could easily have replied that it was a private matter.

Instead, he revealed that he talked to his son, who was watching the game on TV.

Any chance that other losing managers might show as much grace under pressure?

Irish Independent

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