"Colm Lyons didn’t strike all the balls wide that Clare did today." - Óg Cusack says don't make a scapegoat out of ref
Mark Rodgers' disallowed goal was without doubt a turning point in Kilkenny and Clare's All-Ireland semi-final.
Peter Duggan caught another puck-out and shipped a belt from David Blanchfield on his way back down to earth. Cork referee Lyons instantly raises his hand and plays the advantage, which gives Duggan the chance to get the shot off, but Duggan's shot is miscued.
Kilkenny full back Huw Lawlor comes out to claim the ball but just as he drops it into the path of Mark Rodgers, that's when Lyons blows the whistle. It was a mistake, he should have given it another second, and you sense that Lyons was aware of his error almost immediately.
Admittedly helped by Tommy Walsh stopping as he hears the whistle, Rodgers goes onto bury it into the back of Eoin Murphy's net and at that moment, boos ring around Croke Park.
Lyons must have been cursing the rule-book there and then which, in a way, restricts referees when it comes to the advantage rule.
'The referee may allow this advantage to run for up to five seconds after the foul or for less time if is clear that no advantage has accrued,' it reads.
Why is it just five seconds, you'd have to ask?
The incident came up for discussion on The Sunday Game and on it, while accepting that Clare were unlucky in that instance, the Cork man feels they shouldn't be using Lyons as a scapegoat for their loss.
"I think Clare can count themselves unlucky in that," the former Cork keeper said on The Sunday Game.
"But I don’t think that was the biggest thing out of the game. Even from a Clare point of view, I think Clare would be better off looking at themselves.
"There is a tendency over the last while to be focusing out of those types of big decisions, but it is swings and roundabouts," he added.
"Colm Lyons didn’t strike all the balls wide that Clare did today. Didn’t strike all the balls wide last year.
"It was said there on commentary that they were the architects of their own downfall with that goal," Óg Cusack said, referencing Billy Ryan's dispossession of Rory Hayes, which eventually led to Eoin Cody's game-changing goal.
"That wasn’t Colm Lyons’ fault. I would definitely think going forward, it needs to be looking inwards, rather than looking for scapegoats, like Colm Lyons."
Speaking after the game, Brian Lohan did say that Clare 'didn’t seem to get a huge amount from the referee today, found it hard to get frees,' he added.
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