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Fermanagh boss McGrath still seeing red over McCluskey

Fermanagh manager Pete McGrath
Fermanagh manager Pete McGrath
Declan Bogue

By Declan Bogue

Although Fermanagh managed to negotiate their qualifier tie against Antrim without experienced defender Ryan McCluskey, manager Pete McGrath reserved some stinging criticism for the Central Hearings Committee's decision not to overturn his suspension following a red card in the Ulster semi-final.

McCluskey was captured on camera making contact with his knee on Monaghan's Owen Duffy in the provincial defeat and referee Padraig O'Sullivan consulted his umpires before issuing a red card. However, McGrath has questioned the role of matchday umpires and feels that lower-profile counties such as Fermanagh are subject to rough justice.

"The video evidence showed quite conclusively that there was virtually no contact," said McGrath.

"There was no intent to hurt the player on the ground. It was a gesture of frustration. The referee was happy to let it go, but some umpire deemed otherwise."

He continued: "When two of our players were subjected to potentially very dangerous tackles, much more dangerous to what the Monaghan player on the ground was subjected to and they got off with yellow cards.

"The fact is, when Ryan was sent off there was 10 points in it. We lost the game by 10 so surely they could have even said 'look, that was punishment enough' without that.

"If that's the way disciplinary procedures work, then okay, but it was disappointing."

Fermanagh have been handed another home draw in the qualifiers when they are due to face Roscommon in Brewster Park this coming weekend.

One man who will be subject to serious scrutiny will be Sean Quigley, who scored an astonishing 14 points against the Saffrons.

Speaking after the game, the Roslea man put his tally into context, saying, "I suppose it was one of those days; good ball coming in, just when it clicks, when it is going right for you, you have to make the most of it."

He was taken off to a rousing ovation in injury time and when asked about that feeling, quipped, "It's nice like, but you don't get them every day. Some days you might be heckled coming off the field as well!"

Belfast Telegraph


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