Ryan O’Dwyer yellow hard to stomach for Anthony Daly

Dublin manager gracious in defeat soured by dismissal of star man against Cork

Dublin hurling manager Anthony Daly was left wondering what might have been after his side were beaten by five-points by Cork, 1-24 to 1-19, in a thrilling All-Ireland hurling semi-final at Croke Park.

The Clareman endeavoured to be as gracious as possible to the eventual winners but defeat left a sour taste after the dismissal of Ryan O’Dwyer for a second yellow card in the 50th minute seemingly tipped the game in favour of the Rebels.

The Dublin manager had no complaints about the second incident, when O'Dwyer's shoulder charge to the chest of Lorcan McLoughlin was deemed over the top by referee James Owens, but the first booking, two minutes into the game, was harsh, he said.

“The second one probably was a yellow card but the first one was right in front of me,” he told RTE. “I knew at the time, Ryan made contact with the corner forward shoulder-to-shoulder. But the referees are putting themselves under pressure throwing out these early yellows, I suppose, and I suppose he had no option later on, but I would have a problem with first one being a yellow.

"A point ahead, Anthony Nash comes out and scores the free to level it, you know. But, having said that, there's no point, Cork won the day and you take your beating. Fair play, they should some coolness out there and we missed a few frees, little things. That's the way it goes, it's a pity, I don't want to put it down to that refereeing decision, that's not good sportsmanship, but I think throwing out yellow cards after a few minutes for shoulder charges. God! I don't know.

"Anyway, we were beaten. We've had a great year, very proud of the boys, and again today, they died with their boots on, they absolutely gave everything. I see Liam Rushe down there, blood-splattered, charging up the field with the ball."

Taking O’Dwyer off after the first yellow card, he said, would have been a “mad move on our part”, given the game he was having.

Daly said his team made “a few basic errors” and “played the game a bit on Cork’s terms in the first half”, and added: “We kind of regrouped at halftime ... we were getting on top, went two ahead, and a chance to go three ahead, and maybe a goal, Anthony Nash made a good save. The whats and the ifs and buts and maybes, I suppose, I have to see it again to know.

The manager was inevitably asked about his own plans for the future after a season that saw his side crowned Leinster champions, but he was not about to reveal them so soon after defeat.

“Every single year I’ve been asked this question when the year has has finished and I’ve said nothing because you don’t make decisions in sad dressing rooms and that’s what down there at the minute, is a broken dressign room and that’s not the time to make a decision. Look, it may not be my decision even. We’ll wait and see and weigh it up, there’ll be lads dying to take over that Dublin team at the minute I’d say.”

Cork manager Jimmy Barry Murphy was delighted to have beaten "a great team, in Dublin", and was grateful for Patrick Horgan's timely goal minutes from the end.

“Every time we got a score, they got a score, so from that point of view it was very exciting,” he said. “Thrilled with the players, they gave us everything and we beat a great team, in Dublin. We got a goal at a vital stage to give us that breathing space in the end.”

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