GAA Football

Sean Dunnion: Any simulation would be ‘disappointing'

 Donegal goalkeeper Mark Anthony McGinley has attracted criticism for his actions near the end of Saturday night’s Ulster SFC semi-final against Monaghan
Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Gerry McLaughlin

DONEGAL GAA’s top official said he would be “disappointed” if any of the county’s players engaged in simulation, following the barrage of reaction to ’keeper Mark Anthony McGinley’s alleged dive towards the end of last Saturday’s drawn Ulster SFC semi-final with Monaghan at Kingspan Breffni Park.

The Sunday Game pundit Pat Spillane called it “simulation” and joked he would give McGinley “7.5 out of 10 for the dive”. 

And another former Kerry player, Billy O’Shea said he was “embarrassed” for the Donegal ’keeper, who appeared to fall dramatically near the end of the game.

Donegal County Board chairman Sean Dunnion said he would be disappointed if any of the Donegal players indulged in such actions.

The chairman would not comment any further on the McGinley affair.

And when told that TV footage showed that Kieran Gillespie fouled a Monaghan player shortly before Odhran MacNiallais’s goal, the chairman said: “I suppose it is easy to see all these things in hindsight.

“I would not blame any referee for not picking up on this for in all matches some decisions will always go with you and others will not.

“You just have to learn to take it on the chin either way.”

Dunnion said that there was always going to be contentious matters in a match where both teams know each other inside out.

He said: “It was a very hard fought affair and there were plenty of wides but you tend to get that in frenetic affairs.

“Both teams know each other so very well so I don’t think you can say it might be a question of which team has learned the most for the replay.

“There are no secrets between Donegal and Monaghan and last Saturday night’s match was very close on the pitch and on the line.”

And there was at least one lively exchange between the Donegal and Monaghan officials on the sideline.

Dunnion said: “I know there a few flashpoints, but this was the best game of the Championship so far.

“Of course there were mistakes but you are always going to get that when players from both sides are out under such severe pressure every time you get the ball.

“But boy, it was really compelling stuff.

“Look at Sunday, how dull those Leinster Championship matches were in comparison.

“We were a man down and three points down and it looked dark with 15 minutes to go.

“But we came back and thought we had won it only for Monaghan to show us once again how hard it is to beat them.

“So the replay could all hinge on whatever team makes a slight mistake because there’s so very little between these two great rivals.”

GAA Football

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