WHILE spectators and management vented their anger and disappointment with some of the refereeing decisions which went one way or the other, the Carlow players brought some sanity to the post-match analysis after referee Liam Devenney brought an end to an entertaining NFL Division 3 game at Cusack Park on Saturday.
Daniel St Ledger avoided making any controversial comments and said his team didn’t exert enough control when they went four points up in the second half.
“There were mistakes and there were decisions. That kind of stuff. From our point of view, we are a little bit disappointed. Maybe a point did get away from us but we were coming up here against probably the best team in Division 3. I am not saying it for the sake of it. That is reality,” he confided.
At the end the visitors were infuriated when Sean Murphy fell to the ground when trying to burst through. But the Fenagh man didn’t get a free which could well have won Carlow the game.
“Maybe, but the problem was we made him (the referee) an issue. It had come so close. We should have been three to four points up and not letting it get into a dogfight. There was only a point or two in it where decisions like that matter. That is our own fault and something we have to take control off,” St Ledger said.
“The most irritating today is that we let ourselves get drawn in. You cannot control what the referee does and we have to control our limits. That is disappointing . Referees have their own little quirks and we have to play as we see them. We didn’t quite do that today.”
St Ledger concentrated on the positives and while victory eluded him, he said Carlow did other things well.
“Look. There was a passionate home crowd. Our lads weren’t quiet either. The last 20 minutes were crazy. When the players were sent off a bit of control was lost and both sides went hammer and thongs after it.
“They are well organised. It is the second time we played them so from our point of view at the end of the day we would probably take it. Definitely, it was all shoulders to the wheel. They had chances. It was open and it was tough going at the end.”
Carlow goal keeper Robbie Molloy was pinged for an illegal kick-out to Chris Crowley. The ball was also hopped when he was whistled for not taking a kick-out quickly enough.
He put his hands up on the issue concerning the short kick-out.
“At the time I didn’t think so, but according to Chris he said it was,” confessed Molloy. However, he had not been given any previous warning about speeding up his deliveries.
“Not a thing. Out of the blue. Not a thing before.”
In the first half, the keeper made some brave catches and tipped much ball away from danger when the Carlow full-back line was targeted. Eventually one ball was far enough away from him but near enough to Finbarr Coyne who punched to the net.
“It was a lucky break,” suggested the keeper who was happy to be two points ahead at the interval.
“There was a positive attitude at half-time. We had been in this position before. You are up against probably the best team in the division coming after a strong O’Byrne Cup. They got a result last week against Offaly. I knew they were always going to come back at us.
Everyone put their shoulder to the wheel and did well,” Molloy stated.