RORY GALLAGHER, the Donegal manager, wasn’t in the mood for a public spat, but his dissatisfaction was quite clear in the bowels of Austin Stack Park.
It wasn’t an afternoon for the faint of heart in Tralee as a nasty first half saw the dark arts at work all over the newly re-developed venue.
Kerry’s Alan Fitzgerald and Leo McLoone of Donegal saw red in a tetchy contest that spilled over several times in the first half.
Picture caption: Neil McGee, Donegal, leaves the pitch to receive medical attention. Picture by Brendan Moran/ Sportsfile.
By the end of it all, Eddie Kinsella, the referee, had shown two red cards, two black cards and six yellow, while he awarded a total of 59 frees in 70 uptight minutes.
Gallagher was irate when leaving the field at half-time.
While Donegal certainly weren’t blameless, Kerry’s sails certainly flirted with the wind much more.
Gallagher’s only reference to Kerry’s tactics in his post-match interview was to say: ‘I felt that there was something there’ having been asked: ‘Could Kerry have lost another man?’
“It’s not easy for them to see everything,” Gallagher said when asked about Kinsella’s performance. It was clear from the Donegal manager’s demeanor that some events hadn’t sat well with him.
“I’m disappointed in Leo’s sending off. I didn’t see the Kerry sending off and I didn’t see Leo’s, but when Leo came off he said it was a shoving match and he thought he was going to get a second yellow.
“That’s what I was disappointed with. It’s very difficult to referee those games. You always feel that things could go your way.”
Donegal were said to be particularly unhappy that Bryan Sheehan – who scored eight points for Kerry – went unpunished for a hit on Rory Kavanagh.
Kerry themselves were angered that replays showed Neil McGee, the Donegal full-back twisting the finger of Fitzgerald, who saw red for subsequently punching McGee.Tags: