Huge controversy at Croke Park as Con O'Callaghan gets away with one 1 month ago

Huge controversy at Croke Park as Con O'Callaghan gets away with one

This was poor from referee Conor Lane and his umpires at the Canal End.

Con O'Callaghan was looking potent in attack but he was extremely lucky to avoid a black card around the half hour mark.

The All-Ireland football final threw up a few heroes and left a handful of players delighted they would have another chance to make amends for quiet afternoons at Croke Park.

Ahead of the replay, Jim Gavin and Peter Keane made a late change apiece. Eoin Murchan came in for Michael Daragh McCauley in the Dublin 15 while Diarmuid O'Connor replaced Kerry captain Gavin White.

The game started at a frantic pace and it was Dublin that made the early running, racing into a four point lead. Ciarán Kilkenny and Con O'Callaghan were looking more dangerous in the replay than they had two weeks' previous and were pinging them over from play.

Murchan was looking intent on covering every blade of the Croke Park pitch and Stephen Cluxton dealt well with a couple of dangerous high balls. That being said, the Dub's most improved player was forward Paul Mannion.

Mannion scored a sumptuous 0-3 from play and chipped in with an assist too. He looked wired in from the get-go, and Dublin fans were glad to see that one of their best players from this year's championship had resumed normal service. For Kerry, David Clifford was their best attacking threat and he lapped over a few fine scores.

David Clifford of Kerry in action against Jonny Cooper of Dublin during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final Replay at Croke Park. (Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile)

Kerry responded well to Dublin's bright start and they could have levelled the match when O'Callaghan dragged down Tadhg Morley and referee Conor Lane made the wrong call.

Morley burst through on Stephen Cluxton's goal after a fisted pass from Clifford. O'Callaghan hared back and dragged Morley's arm when he was about to shoot.

Bizarrely, after consulting with his umpires opted to give Mick Fitzsimons a tick, while O'Callaghan got away scot-free. To add to the confusion, Lane looked to have flashed a black card but it was, in fact, him holding up his black notebook to show the Dublin defender he had received a tick.

Still, the black card rules state that the referee can only flash it if there is a deliberate body-check, trip, pull-down or abusive language. O'Callaghan could claim his challenge was clumsy and nothing more.

But Lane opted to tick Fitzsimons, who was merely arriving on the scene after the foul took place.

Kerry had to content themselves with a free but they deserved so much more.

Another moment of high controversy in an All-Ireland final. Sure where would you be without it.