Livid: Derry boss slams 'six point turnaround' of penalty calls

John Brennan was incensed by the decision to award Kildare what seemed a soft penalty and deny his own side a late chance.

John Brennan congratulates Kieran McGeeney after last years meeting with Kildare in the qualifiers.
John Brennan congratulates Kieran McGeeney after last years meeting with Kildare in the qualifiers.
Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

DERRY MANAGER JOHN Brennan has blasted the performance of referee, Martin Higgins, who presided over yesterday’s defeat to Kildare.

Brennan, whose side fell by a score of 2-13 to 2-18 was infuriated by two penalty calls by Higgins which the Oak Leaf boss described as a ‘six point turnaround’ in a five point game.

Johnny Doyle ended a long goal drought with his 52nd minute penalty.

And that was the moment that most incensed Brennan as it was awarded after Tomas O’Conner suffered no more than a nudge.

“I don’t blame the referee entirely,” Brennan told RTE Radio, “but I asked him why he didn’t give us the penalty at the end.”

Caoilean O’Boyle scored Derry’s second goal on the hour mark, but when he appeared to be fouled in the dying moments, no decision was forthcoming and that riled the quietly spoken, but intense, Brennan who added:

“It seemed that everyone else around, spectators and all, thought it was a legitimate call. As opposed to the one that he did give – so, there’s a six point turnaround. We didn’t deserve to be beaten by five points, there.”

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“That particular official was controversial to us in the McKenna Cup Final,” added Brennan, raking up his past grievances with the official before curtailing his criticism with a dry smirk, remarking:

“He travels from Fermanagh and he does that today, so I just hope he has a happy journey home.”

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Sean Farrell

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