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McGrath accuses Donegal of gamesmanship

Foiled: Mark Anthony McGinley saves Sean Quigley's penalty
Foiled: Mark Anthony McGinley saves Sean Quigley's penalty
Declan Bogue

By Declan Bogue

Fermanagh manager Pete McGrath has accused Donegal of gamesmanship after their defeat in Ballybofey.

The two-time All-Ireland winner said: "Donegal had a lot of gamesmanship out there today whether you like it or not. Let's call a spade a spade. I mean, the number of times Donegal players went down, in some instances feigning injury, just to stop the clock, to break the play up. And the referee fell for it."

He also suggested that a more high-profile county than Fermanagh might be better protected from those actions, adding: "Let's see what the authorities do about it. I mean, they will do nothing of course, because it's Fermanagh. If it was Dublin on the receiving end of it they might do something about it, but because it's Fermanagh…"

While McGrath did not rue the Sean Quigley penalty miss on the stroke of half-time, his opposite number, Donegal coach Rory Gallagher revealed: "Sean is an ace penalty-taker. We had a lot of work done on which side he was likely to go. And fair play to Mark, he went with his instinct."

While Donegal managed to get through this game without a functioning Michael Murphy and were robbed entirely of Karl Lacey, they could be without full-back Neil McGee for the Ulster semi-final against Monaghan in less than two weeks' time.

When it was mentioned to Gallagher that McGee struck out, he responded: "All I will say is that there was a decision near our sideline where there was an elbow to the head of one of our players which the referee gave a free for. Why give a free and not act on it? Anyway, we are happy to get over the line. If Neil is gone, he is gone and we will move on."

Meanwhile, it's the back door again for McGrath and Fermanagh, after the progress of last year. They face Wexford away on June 25, with McGrath vowing: "We just have to take a step back, sort a few things out that happened today and a few things that didn't happen today. If we can do that, I would be utterly confident we would go to Wexford to win that game."

Belfast Telegraph


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