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Reilly to referee Mayo game for first time since controversial 2014 All-Ireland semi-final replay

Reilly will take charge of the match between Mayo and Donegal.

Cormac Reilly leaves the field with a garda escort after the game Cormac Reilly needed a Garda escort after the 2014 All-Ireland semi-final replay. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

MEATH REFEREE CORMAC Reilly will take charge next Sunday of a game involving the Mayo senior footballers for the first time since the controversial 2014 All-Ireland semi-final replay.

Reilly has been appointed for Mayo’s Allianz Division 1 football league game against Donegal in Castlebar. Mayo need a result to make sure they avoid relegation while Donegal are chasing a place in the league final on Sunday 9 April.

Reilly needed a Garda escort after an epic match at the Gaelic Grounds in August 2014, with Kerry seeing off Mayo after extra-time. He received strong criticism after the match from Mayo supporters while Mayo players were irate on several occasions during the game.

Aidan O'Shea and Keith Higgins speak with referee Cormac Reilly Source: James Crombie/INPHO

A Mayo supporter is led from the pitch Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Sunday Game pundit Kevin McStay described Reilly’s performance as ‘appalling’ after that match while previously in March 2014, then Mayo boss James Horan revealed that he felt Reilly’s display in a league game against Dublin was ‘pretty poor to put it quite mildly, unbelievable at times’.

Donal Vaughan and Keith Higgins speak to referee Cormac Reilly Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Seamus O'Shea reacts as referee Cormac Reilly awards a free to Kerry Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Between league and championship since that replay against Kerry, Mayo have played 34 games but Reilly has not taken charge of any of them.

Joe McQuillan has taken charge of the most Mayo games in that time frame, officiating five times. Maurice Deegan and Conor Lane have refereed four Mayo matches apiece.

Mayo’s prospects of avoiding the drop were given a huge boost with last week’s victory over Tyrone in Omagh. They are currently in fifth place on six points and ahead of Kerry on head-to-head record.

But defeat against Donegal and a win for Cavan over Roscommon could end up leaving the two sides on six points, which would ensure Cavan finished above them on the head-to-head record.

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Fintan O'Toole

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