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Paddy Tally disgusted as penalty call proves pivotal in Down blowing telling lead



Paddy Tally

Paddy Tally

�INPHO/John McVitty

Mickey Graham

Mickey Graham



Paddy Tally

It's been a while since we have seen a manager having a cut at officialdom, the 'new normal' making us all a little too appreciative of having the chance to be involved in football.

But Paddy Tally got the season rolling when he questioned referee Martin McNally speaking to his umpires after Kevin McKernan was adjudged to have touched the ball on the ground in the 41st minute, thereby granting Cavan the penalty that added momentum to their comeback.

"Linesmen don't make calls, umpires don't make calls, but we get an umpire today makes a call on a penalty? That's not within the rules that an umpire makes a call on a penalty or not. That, to me, was a poor decision," said Tally.

Asked if he felt the decision should, in fact, have been a square ball and a free out for Down, he continued: "Absolutely, but it was the referee's call and he didn't make it - an umpire made the call on it. That never happens and that was a decisive moment in the game. At that stage, we were still up by seven points and then next thing the game's back to four, you're playing against the breeze and the whole momentum's swung back. I'd really question that call."

Tally cut a frustrated figure. In the first-half, Down appeared pacier and more hungry for the contest, but they simply could not arrest the Cavan comeback, built on pressuring the Down kickout.

In the end, a Cavan win seemed almost inevitable, even when four or five points adrift.

"We knew Cavan weren't going to lie down, they came back against Monaghan," said Tally.

"We weren't even winning enough ball at midfield in the first-half, we were at a very low percentage, but we were very clinical with our chances and that was the difference. In the second, we didn't do that.

"The message at half-time was keep doing what you're doing, be smart in possession but we didn't do that."

Mickey Graham has had his players out for the last five weekends playing games and he has made it to a sixth now.

He knows that they are up against it in facing Donegal.

"I think it's a one-off shot for us, we will be wrote off and rightly so," he said.

"We are coming up against a different animal, a seasoned team and this is their ninth final in 10 years.

"If we perform as we have done in the last three games, then they will be out of sight by half-time. I just hope mentally and physically, the boys can recover and the energy of an Ulster final will give them a big push."

He's one of the wiliest operators about. But they have some challenge ahead.

Belfast Telegraph