FUMING Tattyreagh manager Stephen McHugh hopes that refereeing calls in favour of ‘big clubs’ ultimately don’t cost his side their Senior football status.
Heading into the three week mini-break in the league, the Tatts are yet to get off the mark in Division One and suffered their latest reversal last Friday night when going down narrowly at home to Omagh 2-8 to 0-13.
St Patrick’s fought back gamely after conceding two goals to the visitors inside the opening ten minutes but were pipped at the post when Ronan O’Neill slotted over an injury time free to hand St Enda’s the spoils.
That call was one of a number of contentious late decisions made by match official Fergal Ward which enraged the Tattyreagh camp and left their manager McHugh dismayed that his charges had garnered nothing for their sterling efforts on the evening.
“I’ve always had the greatest respect for Fergal Ward in every game and for the most part he refereed with common sense in poor conditions but he cannot admit to me that he got those late calls right.
“Those two frees at the very end were big club stuff. I’m telling you now we were punished and we deserved to win that game.
“In the first incident he had his hand down to say that advantage had passed at least five or six seconds and he turns around and calls it back to give Omagh the free.
“Then the overcarrying. Our man was boxed in and they were fouling away at him. He had no chance of getting away with that ball. It was unbelievable and then he didn’t blow for over-carrying down in the other corner soon after. All you ask for is consistency.”
Tattyreagh have taken just one point from their first five games since their long awaited return to the senior ranks, and sit just one place above the foot of the table.
McHugh however remains bullish about their long term prospects, though admitting they need to cut out the sloppy starts to matches.
“ You can’t give away goals like that in any game, and especially in the first ten minutes We were struggling no doubt but once we got into our rhythm, the same against the Moy last week, we played Omagh off the park.
“I think they just scored three frees in the second half and with the breeze. That shows the dominance we had. Now there was mistakes in our side and there was bad ball given at crucial times, especially in the last quarter, but at the end of the day we still deserved more. We can deal with our own errors but the refereeing performance is out of my control.”
FULL STORY IN TODAY’S ULSTER HERALD
Posted: 2:26 pm May 2, 2019