Controversial Referee decision sees Killoe Lose out in Leinster

Garrycastle 1-11 Killoe Young Emmets 1-10

A controversial decision near the end of the game denied Killoe Young Emmets a famous victory in the Leinster Club Championship.

Trailing by one point in injury-time the Killoe side threw everything at their opponents and when a high ball was turned into the net by Darragh Bennett it looked like the Longford champions had claimed a dramatic winner. But for some reason, only he seems to know, referee Fergal Smyth disallowed the goal and awarded a free out for Garrycastle. Killoe couldn’t get another score and thus bowed out of the championship.

It was one of a number of decisions that went against Killoe. They were denied numerous frees, soft ones given against them and a penalty not awarded too not long before half-time when Michael Quinn was clearly fouled.

Killoe had made the perfect start to the game and with two minutes gone on the clock Paddy Thompson found the back of the net. A fine Dessie Dolan point and one from Conor Cosgrove cut the gap to one in the sixth minute. Sean McCormack hit over a free in the 10th minute and then two minutes later Killoe defender Cian Farrelly was black carded for a foul on Dolan; he duly obliged with the free.

Killoe enjoyed a lot of the ball but just couldn’t get the scores on the board and in the 18th minute an excellent point from Dolan levelled the match.

Larry Moran put Killoe back in front with a fine point from a tight angle. The same player was the target of some robust tackling which went unpunished before Quinn was fouled in the area but no penalty awarded.

Garrycastle broke up the field and James Dolan levelled. Frees were then exchanged between McCormack and Dessie Dolan before substitute Michael Monaghan put the Westmeath side ahead for the first time. Killoe drew level right before the break with a Denis McGoldrick free.

Killoe started the second half well and two Ronan McGoldrick points put them ahead by two in the 39th minute. Garrycastle had kicked over three wides in a row in the opening 10 minutes of the second half.

They eventually got their first score of the half in the 43rd minute but Quinn replied with a sublime point for Killoe. In the 46th minute Garrycastle got a crucial score when Dessie Dolan burst through and played the ball to defender Mark McCallon who grabbed a goal.

Denis McGoldrick responded with a lovely point but that was cancelled out by a point from Gary McCallon. Former Longford Town player Damien Rushe was then black carded for Garrycastle as both sides went in search of vital scores.

A McGoldrick free and another exceptional point from Quinn levelled proceedings in the 57th minute before a lovely point from Dolan in the 59th minute edged his side ahead.

Killoe pressed hard for an equaliser and with time nearly up they thought they’d snatched the win when Bennett goaled but it was controversially disallowed.

Garrycastle: Cathal Mullin; Mark McCallon (1-0), Jack Donoghue, Alan Fox; Karl Henson, John Gaffey, Gary McCallon (0-1); Justin Barrett, Aidan Browne; Gary Dolan, Dessie Dolan (0-5,2f), Matthew Guiheen; Conor Cosgrove (0-1), Alex Gardiner, James Dolan (0-1). Subs: Michael Monaghan (0-2,1f) for Guiheen inj (19), Damien for Cosgrove (ht), James Duignan(0-1) for Gardiner, Seamie O’Donoghue for Rushe bc (54)

Killoe: Stephen Coy; Cian Farrelly, Darragh Bennett, Daniel Keogh; Shane Dowd, Joe McCormack, Michael Quinn (0-2); Paddy Thompson (1-0), Simon Kiernan; Denis McGoldrick (0-3,2f), Ronan Keogh, Eugene Clarke; Larry Moran (0-1), Sean McCormack (0-2,2f), Mark Hughes. Subs: Ronan McGoldrick (0-2) for Farrelly bc (12), Paddy Kiernan for Clarke (37), Liam Hughes for Moran (57)

Referee: Fergal Smyth (Offaly)