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Gavin's claims put referee McQuillan in eye of storm

By Staff Reporter

Ulster referee Joe McQuillan could find himself in the eye of a storm when he officiates at the second All-Ireland senior football semi-final between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park tomorrow.

McQuillan takes charge of the game in the wake of Dublin manager Jim Gavin's claim that his side is experiencing "difficulty" in being awarded frees from referees.

In doing so, he is seen to have heaped pressure on McQuillian by suggesting his team get a raw deal from match officials.

When Dublin and Mayo crossed swords in the 2013 All-Ireland final, which was also controlled by McQuillan, the free count was 32-12 in Mayo's favour.

Gavin claims there is a lack of consistency in refereeing standards and believes his team are high-profile victims of this.

"I don't have the detailed statistics but in most games the free count goes against us. But that's something we can't control. We've become accustomed to it now at this stage and we just get on with it," maintains Gavin.

Earlier this year McQuillan conceded that while football has evolved considerably, particularly over the course of the past five years, referees have had to come to terms with this.

"It's just the same for me as it is for the players. I have my job on the field to do. But it is fantastic to be out there on those occasions and it's lovely to be able to rub shoulders with the best players in the country, to be able to be part of the game. You don't need to be seen on the field, you just need to do your job," he said.

"I try not to drag myself into things that go wrong. We all make mistakes and it's no different for referees."

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