Photo: Mayo Mick
The GAA have today announced that Maurice Deegan will take charge of our All-Ireland semi-final against Tyrone on Sunday week (throw-in 3.30pm). The weak-as-water Laois whistler needs no introduction to Mayo supporters, given the total bags he made of the two national finals we were involved in last year, and he certainly wouldn’t have been my choice for the game, not least given the way Tyrone are likely to approach the contest. But he is the choice of Pat McEneaney and his chums and so we’re stuck with him: here’s hoping that the lads can put in the kind of performance that will make the standard of reffing irrelevant, which is pretty much what they managed to do against Donegal.
Incidentally, the last time Deegan reffed a match involving us was when we carved out that gutsy win over Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh back in April but it’s his handling of our league match against Tyrone in MacHale Park two months prior to that which is likely to be remembered more readily. I know that his performance that day resulted in a fair bit of teeth grinding amongst the home support but I thought he gave us a fair enough shake in that one and that the decisive penalty award against us in the dying moments of that game was reasonable enough.
Anyway, there’s nothing we can do about it now and he’s the man in the hot seat on Sunday week. Let’s hope he’s up to the task, that the crucial decisions break around 50:50 and that the lads do the rest.
The ref for the minors’ semi-final with Monaghan has also been announced – Anthony Nolan from Wicklow will be doing this one. As always seems to be the case when the name of the ref for minor matches is unveiled, I must once again confess that I’ve never heard of this guy before. Where do all these minor match refs come from? Where do they all go to?