National Football League Division three
Limerick v Fermanagh
Sunday, TUS Gaelic Grounds, 2pm
By Katrina Brennan
ON Monday afternoon, Fermanagh manager Kieran Donnelly may have cooled off but the sense of frustration and anger at Sunday’s decision to rule Sean Quigley’s legitimate point wide was still very much simmering. The Roslea man very definitely put Fermanagh two points clear going into the final five minutes but the umpire and match officials deemed it wide.
A decision that incensed Donnelly so much he got a yellow card himself from Galway referee Thomas Murphy, and as a result Fermanagh are practically out of the promotion running ahead of this weekend’s final match against Limerick.
“In this day and age, with all the officials on the sideline being so fussy on managers wearing bibs, focusing on how many people are standing on sidelines, that they can’t see a ball is over the bar or not.
“I think that is the most frustrating thing, if there’s going to be six officials at the game and the whole crowd could see that it was a point, how that was missed?
“The umpire, I feel sorry for him in that it’s not an easy job and sometimes where he’s standing , the other umpire should’ve probably assisted him but the linemen and the fourth officials all saw it and for none of them to call it. They’re very quick to call other things going on.
“We just feel really hard done by that none of them could hold their hand up and say it was a point when the whole crowd could see it, it wasn’t even close, it was a clear-cut point.
“That’s the most disappointing thing about it; some of them definitely saw it and just didn’t want to radio it onto the pitch for some reason.”
It wasn’t the only decision that went against Fermanagh on the day but it was the one that broke the camel’s back.
“You’d nearly think there was something else going on, the way the game was going and the amount of calls we had against us,” said Donnelly.
Fermanagh have cemented their place in Division Three now and the chances of promotion are mathematically possible but practically impossible – it would depend on Antrim drawing with Westmeath and the Erne County racking up a huge points tally win against Limerick.
It won’t deter Donnelly’s charges going there looking for a victory though.
“I think the fact it’s so close to championship, yes the disappointment will still be there (after Westmeath) but our focus is now on Tyrone as well and knowing that we can’t be slack in any training session or any game, if we’re going to be going in to play the All-Ireland champions.
“So, I think that’s really our goal and these boys are really all very professional, so I think they’ll want to give a good account of themselves and win the game. We’re going down there to win it and you’ve still an outside chance as much as it really is an outside chance of qualifying.”