Dublin: 8°C Tuesday 7 December 2021

'That happens in games, some days you get those calls and some days you don’t'

Jim Gavin on Jonny Cooper’s first-half red card for Dublin.

Jonny Cooper with Jim Gavin after being shown a red card.
Jonny Cooper with Jim Gavin after being shown a red card.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

A PERFORMANCE THAT dipped below the standards they expect and a few refereeing decisions where they ‘didn’t get the rub of the green’.

That was Jim Gavin’s summation of Dublin’s All-Ireland final showing today as he reflected on a draw in the decider for the second time in four years.

Gavin stressed their display was not up to the level required while his view of Jonny Cooper’s red card in the first half was that it was part of day when the calls went against the Sam Maguire title holders.

“The performance wasn’t good enough to get the result, we have the opportunity now to rectify that.

“We didn’t get the rub of the green in that regard (calls) but that happens in games, some days you get those calls and some days you don’t. That’s the way it is. We dust ourselves down and prepare as best we can for another game.

“We need time, it’s hard to know, both players were grappling (Clifford and Cooper). In the second half we could have gotten one or two calls which could have gone our way, they didn’t, so you just dust yourself down and go again.

“I thought he was doing okay (Cooper). David Clifford is a fantastic player. There seemed to be (pressure) from the outside, but David Gough is one of the top officials in the game.

“Some days the calls go for you, in that instance (O’Sullivan) it went against us but overall you wouldn’t be looking at that as an excuse.

“It’s just the performance from ourselves wasn’t good enough, but we have an opportunity the next day to try to rectify that.”

Being cut to 14 men had a major impact on Dublin’s outlook for the rest of the game. They ploughed on after the loss of Cooper in the 34th minute and coped for the entire second half with that personnel disadvantage.

Gavin praised the resolve of his players to dig on and overhaul Kerry in the finale to secure the draw.

“Yeah, listen. We played well in patches of the first half. We went five points up and they got a point relating from that sending off, pushed ahead and we went five up in the second. The guys, we know them well and they are mentally very strong, great mental reserve there — a resilient football team.


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“A point down with 72 minutes on the clock, the perception might have been that the game has gone away from them. All credit to the Dublin players, they tackled and kept their discipline and turned Kerry over, and created opportunities for themselves — could have taken one or two more.

“We didn’t and that’s the disappointing thing, so we’ll have to reflect as best we can and move onto the next game.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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