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'I just think a few controversial decisions maybe went against us and it really put us on the back foot'

Tipperary star Aisling McCarthy spoke about losing their relegation battle against Cavan on The Ladies Football Show this afternoon.

TIPPERARY STAR AND 2017 Intermediate Player of the Year Aisling McCarthy has spoken out about her side’s disappointment following relegation from the senior ranks.

The 2017 All-Ireland intermediate champions were sent back down after losing their relegation play-off final against Cavan on Sunday.

Eight points up at half time with McCarthy tagging on another free just after the restart, it looked like Tipp were set for victory and security of their senior status.

But Cavan staged a remarkable second-half comeback to win by three points.

On The42‘s Ladies Football Show today, McCarthy hit out at ‘controversial decisions’ as she explained how the action unfolded and reacted to the relegation.

Source: The42.ie/YouTube

“It’s still really raw at the moment,” she said.”It was probably a chance that we should have taken to stay up senior. It was a massive prize. One of the girls talked about it beforehand, it was probably like an All-Ireland final really. Back in September, we played for the exact same prize: to become a senior team and then (this time) to stay as a senior team.

“I suppose we had a very good first-half performance. We were up by eight points (at half time) and even the start of the second half, we got another score. We were like nine points up and in the driving seat really.

“Then I just think a few controversial decisions maybe went against us and it really put us on the back foot. Cavan obviously took advantage of that, as you would. The momentum really swung with them and they started to drive at us.

“They got a good few goals that we couldn’t get back from then. I really do think that some of the decisions that were made maybe by the referee, from both sides, it was just inconsistent. I just think it didn’t allow the game to flow, and didn’t make it a fair battle really.

“I think some Cavan girls did say how were we going to compete with them when we had 13 players on the pitch for a lot of the second half. Look, to be fair to them, we beat them in the Division 2 final. They probably had a point to prove that they wanted to be the ones going up to Division 1.

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Source: The42.ie/YouTube

The Cahir ace added: “I think it’s just really disappointing all the progress we made throughout the last 18 months that we’re back basically to square one.

“Just don’t know what the future holds really next year. It’s just really disappointing.”

The Tipperary team held their own in the senior grade this year, which makes the relegation even harder for the group to take.

“I do think that we don’t deserve to be going back down. It’s not that we were getting handed beatings from every team we played. I do think we were really getting to know ourselves up at senior level. It’s just a pity now that we have to go back down.

“If we bet either Waterford or Cavan, we would have regrouped and looked at what we could have worked on. I think Division 1 football next year would have really brought us on for Munster championship again.

“Look, we’re just going to have to take it but it’s really disappointing.

You can watch the show in full here, starting off with Galway’s Ailbhe Davoren previewing Galway’s semi-final clash with Dublin and talking about the recent bad news about her injured cruciate ligament.

Source: The42.ie/YouTube

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Emma Duffy

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