Referee warned Kerry and Donegal managers over cards
Eddie Kinsella brandished two red and two black cards in the opening half in Tralee
Neil McGee of Donegal had a burst lip after one of the scuffles during their clash with Kerry in the Allianz League. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Both the Kerry and Donegal managers were called to referee Eddie Kinsella’s room during half-time in yesterday’s Allianz Football League Division One clash in Tralee after an opening 35 minutes that saw two red and two black cards brandished by the Laois official.
Kerry’s Alan Fitzgerald and Donegal’s Leo McCloone were both sent off for striking, while the Kerry duo of Shane Enright and Denis Daly were also shown black cards in the 24th minute of a highly-charged encounter.
Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s side went on to win the game 1-13 to 1-8 in front of a crowd of 7,000 at Austin Stack Park to continue their revival in Division One after two opening losses.
It was a first defeat of the campaign for Rory Gallagher’s side and Donegal were joined on six points by Roscommon after they enjoyed a 1-12 to 0-6 win over Down at Pearse Park in Longford. Dublin remain the only unbeaten side on eight points.
Gallagher was unhappy with his side for not pushing on when they had pulled back a five-point deficit having been 0-7 to 0-2 down after half an hour.
“We are disappointed that we lost the game, having put ourselves in a great position at seven each, playing with a strong breeze; [disappointed] that Kerry showed more hunger; disappointed with our defending for the goal; disappointed with our discipline, got a couple of frees moved in.”
Gallagher did not elaborate on the half-time chat with the referee, both on the pitch as they left the field of play and after being summoned to Kinsella’s room.
“I think it is very difficult to referee those games, to be fair. You always think that some things could go your way,” said Gallagher.
“Look it, it’s very hard to see everything that is going on. I didn’t see the Kerry sending off and I didn’t see Leo’s but speaking to Leo when he came off, he said that he didn’t do a lot. He thought it was a second yellow card and thought it was just a shrugging match.”
For his part, Fitzmaurice put the over-physical nature of proceedings down to the intensity both sets of players brought to the game.
“Maybe the fact we got a red card and two black cards today might suggest that our discipline was not where it needed to be today. Situations like this will always happen when two teams go at it as hard as both teams did today.
Austin Gleeson’s last-second free from all of 100 metres was the difference between the teams after 70 minutes of a match that swung one way and then another before finally sending the two points back to Waterford.
It was the county’s 10th successive win in the competition – seven in last year’s campaign and the first three of the current season – and although further agony for Tipp, who had been sunk by two late Kilkenny goals a fortnight previously, the outcome wasn’t unfair on Waterford, who battled throughout and ultimately took the chances that mattered.
Manager Derek McGrath paid tribute to his youthful outfit.
“We started with four 20-year-olds in our forward line: Patrick Curran was 20 during the week – great to see a 20 year-old hitting frees in Thurles with such confidence. Our midfielders are 23 – great to see all these young lads stand up when they had to. Their time is now.
The win leaves the holders top of the Division One A table on six points, followed by Kilkenny and Dublin, who Waterford next play, on four points.