Both camps happy with re­play call

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT -

AGB man­ager Damien Red­mond and Bless­ing­ton’s Mick Mur­ray were re­lieved fig­ures af­ter the epic en­counter be­tween their charges ended with the in­ter­ven­tion of County Chair­man Martin fitzger­ald to rule that a re­play was go­ing to be had in­stead of the sud­den death penal­ties af­ter the first shoot-out ended level at 4-4.

This dra­matic en­counter tested both man­age­ment teams to the limit with both mak­ing mas­sive de­ci­sions in the face of tac­ti­cal ne­ces­sity and ref­er­ee­ing de­ci­sions that some agreed with and some didn’t.

AGB boss Damien Red­mond said that nei­ther team de­served to lose the game in such a man­ner and that the re­play was the best op­tion.

‘We got off to a slow start. Bless­ing­ton opened us up through the mid­dle. We were asleep, ba­si­cally. Then we got one or two scores, chipped over a few frees and we got back into it,’ he be­gan when asked his thoughts on the game.

‘We started driv­ing them back­wards in­stead of them driv­ing us back­wards. We made a cou­ple of good subs in ex­tra-time as well. Dar­ragh (Cul­leton) came on and scored the free with his left foot straight away. He hadn’t even stretched. John Paul (Hur­ley) made a great catch and Daire Mac (McBride) turned your man for a free,’ he added.

There was fever­ish de­bate on the field be­fore the penalty shootout and Red­mond said that both sets of man­age­ment wanted the re­play from the start.

‘There’s no way that any team de­served to lose that on penal­ties. It’s GAA. It’s not soc­cer. Who­ever came up with it, it’s dis­grace­ful. My­self and Mick (Mur­ray) wanted to do it (go to a re­play), but the C.C.C. de­cided that it had to go (to penal­ties), and then Cur­tis (Ger­aghty) has to miss the penalty, if he scores it’s over. Ter­ri­ble.

‘They played 80 min­utes of foot­ball and then to have to go through that,’ he said.

Damien Red­mond can point to any amount of his play­ers for de­liv­er­ing mas­sive per­for­mances but one of the first has to be Ciaran Hy­land.

‘We dug it out in the end. That’s his (Ciarán’s) first game in four months and he lit­er­ally drove ev­ery­one for­ward.

‘Jack Hamil­ton done bril­liant on Eoin Keogh. Philip Healy was just tip­ping the ball over as he does. Tak­ing him off? He was chas­ing ‘Goose’ (Barry Mur­phy) too much. You don’t want to be chas­ing ‘Goose’ at 39 years of age,’ he added.

Damien Red­mond said that his team needed to get the ball into scor­ing po­si­tion in the sec­ond­half of ex­tra-time and that they did just that. He also lamented the fact that there weren’t more black cards.

‘We were three points down go­ing into the last 10 min­utes of ex­tra-time. We spoke about get­ting the ball into po­si­tions where we could score and that’s what we did, thank God.

‘I’ve no is­sue with that (red card), but, over­all, I thought the ref­eree was very le­nient to­wards Bless­ing­ton. Gar­reth (Whe­lan) has to do his job but I thought there was at least three black cards in ex­tra-time. It’s fair enough, Gar­reth has to do his job, and he did his job, but you need to be con­sis­tent. Black card­ing Ciaran O’Shea, that’s grand, I said that to him. Two sec­onds later Andy Ma­her was pulled down for the same thing and noth­ing,’ he added.

Bless­ing­ton’s Mick Mur­ray said that he would have to look at their free count and that miss­ing a point to go four up late on was a key mo­ment in the game.

‘Their game is a bit dif­fer­ent, their pos­ses­sion from the backs, they were much bet­ter at us that that. We were poor on that.

I was dis­ap­pointed. Our free take was mas­sive, we have to have a look at it. Even though in fair­ness to Ark­low they kicked some great scores when we pressed in­side the 45, they kicked three or four great points from out­side in the sec­ond half. They were great scores, scores that would win any game and you can’t de­fend them.

‘I just thought that when we went three points up at the end and ‘Boots’ (David Booth­man) had the ball in there and he hit the post, I think that four points might have just got us over the line.

‘All day long we were prob­a­bly giv­ing them frees. I think their bread and but­ter was a lot of frees that they got.

‘I know they kicked some great points (from play) but they kicked some great frees and I think we turned them over stupid frees, and we had the ball out here, ‘Goose’ went down on it, lost it.

‘And when we had the ex­tra man up, we should have cap­i­talised on that, we should have dropped an­other one or two back, hold pos­ses­sion and work it up. We told them to do that, but sure...

‘I think both clubs were happy for the re­play. No mat­ter what, I can make all the ex­cuses here but at the end of the day it’s a draw.

‘I was a bit ner­vous com­ing in, peo­ple were say­ing we had a bit more fire­power, but no, they’re a good team, they are a pos­ses­sion team, they work well,’ he added.

Cur­tis Ger­agthy looks to es­cape the clutches of James Tyrrell.

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