Cian O’Neill fumes at referee as Donegal edge Kildare
A bizarre incident involving Eoin Doyle and a gumshield led to the captain’s dismissal
Referee David Gough speaks to the players during the Allianz League Division One clash between Donegal and Kildare. Photo: Evan Logan/Inpho
Donegal 1-15 Kildare 3-7
As Cian O’Neill watched a fortuitous kick from Ryan McHugh sail over his goalkeeper, Mark Donnellan, the Kildare manager was left to curse his luck.
O’Neill was furious at the conclusion, but his ire was directed to referee, David Gough over the sending off of Kildare captain Eoin Doyle in the 16th minute.
Doyle, earlier booked for a foul on McHugh, was instructed to leave the field in order to get a gum shield.
Doyle, as he trotted towards the dugout, was picked out by a kickout from Mark Donnellan, the Kildare goalkeeper, and was promptly shown a second yellow card.
“Absolutely disgraceful,” O’Neill fumed.
“He shouldn’t have re-started the game until the player went off the pitch. He sprinted over to the line and called: ‘I need to get a gum shield’. He went for the ball. Even a child at four years of age will know what you do when a ball is kicked to you – your reaction is to go for the ball. He caught it while he was still running over to us. The referee didn’t realise he had already given him a yellow card.”
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Kildare put it up to Donegal with Daniel Flynn, Niall Kelly and David Slattery all scoring. The Lilywhites could, and perhaps should have added more majors to their tally, but were left empty handed, and staring towards a swift return to Division 2, after McHugh’s 65th minute goal.
McHugh, close to the old bricked wall on the perimeter of Fr Tierney Park, saw an attempted point fly beyond Donnellan and into the far corner; a goal that handed Donegal – out of luck until now in 2018 – their first league win of the year.
“Today was about getting a result and that’s what we got,” Donegal manager Declan Bonner said.
“It didn’t matter what way we got over the line. Conceding the goals was disappointing, and how easily we were cut open, but every time we responded and got scores on the board and that was pleasing.”
Daniel Flynn got in to round League debutant Shaun Patton – the former Sligo Rovers goalkeeper – for a seventh minute goal that put Kildare in the driving seat.
Flynn and Kildare had the ball in the net again three minutes later, palming home from Ben McCormack’s unselfish pass. But Gough deemed that Flynn was in the square before McCormack offloaded and chalked off the goal.
Odhrán Mac Niallais knocked over an instant reply to Flynn’s goal, but Donegal’s attack misfired for much of the opening period.
A pair of Patrick McBrearty points had Donegal within one at the interval and a blistering start to the second half had them in front.
Kelly took a pass from Tommy Moolick for a second Kildare goal and, again when Donegal had inched away, substitute Slattery netted to tee up a grandstand finish where Donegal, just about, had the edge.
Donegal: S Patton; E Gallagher (0-1), C Ward, S McMenamin; R McHugh (1-2), P Brennan, T McClenaghan; H McFadden (0-1), O Mac Niallais (0-1); E Doherty, L McLoone, M McHugh; P McBrearty (0-4, 1f), M Murphy (0-3, 1f) J Brennan (0-1).
Subs: N O’Donnell (0-1) for McClenaghan (h-t), N McGee for Ward (50), S McBrearty for Brennan (55), C McGonagle for M.McHugh (60), C Thompson for Mac Niallais (64), N Mullins for O’Donnell (69).
Kildare: M Donnellan; P Kelly, D Hyland, M O’Grady; C O’Donoghue, E Doyle, J Byrne (0-1); K Feely (0-3f), T Moolick; F Conway (0-1), N Kelly (1-0), P Cribbin; B McCormack, D Flynn (1-1), P Brophy.
Subs: K Flynn (0-1) for O’Donoghue (h-t), D Slattery (1-0) for Cribbin (55), C Healy for N.Kelly (60), F Dowling for Conway (63), M Sherry for Moolick (69)
Referee: D Gough (Meath).