GAA Football

Killyclogher boss Dominic Corrigan unhappy with referee

Corrigan's frustration was visible along the sideline in a first half that saw the Emmet’s score five of their six points from frees.
Cahair O'Kane at the Athletic Grounds, Armagh

KILLYCLOGHER boss Dominic Corrigan hit out at referee Ciaran Branagan for giving Slaughtneil “a platform in the first half…that I didn’t feel was justified”.

The experienced St Mary’s boss’s frustration was visible along the sideline in a first half that saw the Emmet’s score five of their six points from frees.

The overall free count in the first half was 14-9 in Slaughtneil’s favour, though that swung after the break, with the Down official giving Killyclogher 13 frees to the Derry champions’ four.

The former Fermanagh manager was scathing in his assessment.

“I give credit to Slaughtneil surely, they played well and deserved their win, but they certainly didn’t deserve to be getting the favours they got from the referee in the first half. I thought some of the frees they got were awfully soft.

“Slaughtneil are too good a side to be gifting them frees like that. I think five of their six points came from 13- or 20-metre frees and that was ridiculous.

“One or two of them I could have seen being frees, but no, I’d have been disappointed with the concession of those frees and disappointed with the awarding of them. I would not have been happy.”

Two of Killyclogher’s four scores in the opening half came from dead balls converted by Mark Bradley, and Corrigan still believed his side were in a decent position at the break despite being two points down having played with the wind.

But when Sé McGuigan turned inside Danny Gorman and set up Meehaul McGrath for Slaughtneil’s goal just after the restart, the game turned completely in Slaughtneil’s favour.

“Funny, we were happy enough at the break to be going in two down because we’re a good running team. The goal was a big score for them and we were always chasing it after that.

“They’re excellent at defending leads and fair play to them, they close the game out well. But I felt they got a platform in the first half with those free kicks that I didn’t feel was justified.

“I felt that they bought their frees well, they were cute and they conned the referee on a couple of occasions in that first half.

“I’d be fierce disappointed that they got some of those frees. I was surprised Ciaran Branagan would be awarding those type of frees because I would rate Ciaran as a top referee prior to today.”

With Karl McKaigue getting on top of his battle with Mark Bradley after the opening few minutes, the Killyclogher attack was bare.

“Mark is a special player and he was well closed out today, but I felt we didn’t get a platform to get the supply to him.

“It wasn’t so much Mark as the supply line going into Mark wasn’t what it should have been. We were found wanting there.” 

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