Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Armagh Senior Football Championship: Oisin McConville’s replay misery

Oisin McConville

Oisin McConville faces another 60 minutes of torture when Crossmaglen Rangers replay their Armagh SFC semi-final on Saturday evening in Silverbridge.

Having missed last weekend’s drawn match with St Patrick’s after allegedly abusing the referee in a Monaghan league game, he will again be confined to a spectator’s role.

McConville was coaching Monaghan junior side Toome at the time. He wasn’t booked or sent off during the match and only realised there was a problem when he received a letter.

“Immediately I sought a hearing thinking that nothing would come of it. But in the meantime I had spoken to the referee who said I had verbally abused him,” McConville said.

“I asked if I had used foul language and he said ‘no’. I might have been raving and ranting at my own players, but I can’t recall saying anything to the referee.”

The letter from the disciplinary committee recommended he be suspended for a month. When the case went to an appeals hearing, that ban was upheld.

“I don’t have too many years left playing football and all this stuff is breaking my heart as I never had any previous disciplinary problems. I’m certainly not in the business of abusing referees.”

Meanwhile, McConville is adamant that the GAA can learn a lot from rugby.

“There the referee explains every decision. In GAA if you question a referee’s decision you are likely to get a booking.

“But whereas in rugby there’s a much better understanding between players and the referee, in the GAA it’s very much a case of them and us,” McConville said.

l In the Down Senior Football Championship replay Clonduff lost to An Riocht 0-07 to 0-06

Clonduff began brightly with a point from Arthur McConville but points from Chris Killen, James Cunningham and two from Paddy Cole not only ensured An Riocht’s half forward line all scored but that the Kingdom were put into a commanding lead.

Shane Ward reduced the deficit to two points but James Colgan hit a long range score to give An Riocht a 0-5 to 0-02 half-time lead.

Clonduff were resurgent in the second half and points from Aidan Carr, Mark McPoin and two in quick succession from the impressive Arthur McConville gave Clonduff a one-point lead.

Darren White kick-started a response by scoring a brace of points to nudge the Kingdom back in front with five minutes to play and they will now play Kilcoo this Sunday at 4pm in Burren.

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