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Hughes 'couldn't believe' red card decision in quarter-final

Darren Hughes has said he was shocked to be sent off in last Sunday's All-Ireland SFC quarter-final against Tyrone 
Paul Keane

MONAGHAN'S Darren Hughes admitted he was left “in a state of shock” after his controversial dismissal in their loss to Tyrone.

The Scotstown man was shown a straight red card for touching the hair of Tiernán McCann, who fell to the floor. McCann has since been criticised by pundits and social media users for going to ground too easily in the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final.

Hughes said he “tapped” McCann on the head and that neither himself, referee Marty Duffy nor McCann covered themselves in glory.

“I was just in a state of shock when it happened,” said Hughes. 

“I genuinely couldn’t believe it. I knew straight away there was no point arguing with Marty Duffy, he wasn’t going to change his decision. I think he has a lot to... look, he was looking straight at it. All three parties are probably accountable for what happened - myself, McCann and the referee. But it was a far cry from a sending-off.”

Referee Duffy dished out three red cards overall as well as two black cards and 13 bookings in a tempestuous encounter. The game grew increasingly spiteful late on as Monaghan chased down a Tyrone side that eventually won by four. Hughes said the incident with McCann was a minor one.

“It was a bit of verbals, nothing serious,” said the Scotstown man.

“I went over and tapped him on the head. Everyone could see there was no malice in it. It’s just one of those things and, as I say, I don’t think any of the three people involved did themselves any favours.

“[McCann] went down and that was that, that was his reaction, he probably feels it paid off as I got the line. It’s disappointing and I obviously didn’t feel it was a red card.”

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