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Monaghan star in 'state of shock' after red card in Tiernan McCann dive incident

Darren Hughes was shown to the line in controversial circumstances.

Referee Marty Duffy issues a red card to Darren Hughes.
Referee Marty Duffy issues a red card to Darren Hughes.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

MONAGHAN’S DARREN HUGHES admitted he was left ‘in a state of shock’ after his controversial dismissal in their loss to Tyrone.

The former skipper was shown a straight red card for lightly touching the hair of Tiarnan McCann who fell to the floor.

Tyrone’s McCann has been heavily criticised by pundits and social media users for going to ground too easily in the All-Ireland quarter-final tie.

Experienced Hughes claimed he merely ‘tapped’ McCann on the head and said that neither himself, referee Marty Duffy or McCann covered themselves in glory.

Hughes confirmed the card will be appealed though the damage was done on Saturday as he missed the crucial latter stages of the Ulster champions’ four-point loss.

Hughes said: “I was just in a state of shock when it happened. I genuinely couldn’t believe it.

“I knew straight away there was no point arguing with Marty Duffy, he wasn’t going to change his decision. I think he has a lot to…look, he was looking straight at it.

“All three parties are probably accountable for what happened, myself, McCann and the referee. But it was a far cry from a sending-off, no way.”

Tiernan McCann surrounded by Monaghan players Monaghan players surround Tyrone's Tiernan McCann Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Referee Duffy dished out three red cards overall as well as two black cards and 13 bookings in a tempestuous all-Ulster encounter. The game grew increasingly spiteful late on as Monaghan chased down a Tyrone side that eventually won by four.

Hughes said the incident between himself and McCann was a minor one.

The experienced forward said: “It was a bit of verbals, nothing serious. I went over and tapped him on the head. Everyone could see there was no malice in it.

“It’s just one of those things and as I say, I don’t think any of the three people involved did themselves any favours.”

Darren Hughes and Sean Cavanagh Darren Hughes in action for Monaghan against Tyrone's Sean Cavanagh. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Asked about McCann’s reaction specifically, Hughes shrugged: “He went down and that was that, that was his reaction, he probably feels it paid off as I got the line. It’s disappointing and I obviously didn’t feel it was a red card.”

Monaghan manager Malachy O’Rourke felt powerful Hughes could have made a difference in the closing 10 minutes as they chased down Tyrone.

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Malachy O'Rourke Monaghan boss Malachy O'Rourke. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Hughes said: “I probably wasn’t having my best game but I still felt there was time on the clock to make an impact, around 10 minutes. We might have got a lucky break for a goal or something.”

Hughes accepted that Monaghan didn’t deliver overall as they started sluggishly and slipped to their third consecutive All-Ireland quarter-final defeat.

He said: “You can’t go to Croke Park in August and not play. It was just a very flat performance and it was too late really when we did get it going.

A dejected Dick Clerkin A dejected Dick Clerkin after Monaghan's defeat Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“This last three years we’ve got to the quarter-finals and this year was seen as the one for us to push on but we’ve failed again.

“I’m obviously delighted to get the Ulster title but I felt we had to push on in the All-Ireland series to really define ourselves. Unfortunately we weren’t able to do that and it’s still pretty raw at the moment.”

A dejected Ciaran McManus Conor McManus disappointed after their loss to Tyrone Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Mickey Harte defends Tyrone’s Tiernan McCann after dive

‘I think I’d rather be on the losing side than wake up and be Tiernan McCann’

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Paul Keane

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