It’s probably not of all that much interest at this stage but there are obviously plenty of match reports out there on Saturday’s defeat to Down. Perhaps the most relevant ones at this stage are those contained in the dailies, all of which have a few quotes from James. Here they are: Irish Times, Irish Independent, Irish Examiner. There are loads of other reports online too, all of which I’ve filed away in the 2013 Results page (which acts as a kind of ante-room for the Results Archive section of the site).
The reports in the Indo and the Examiner contain identical quotes from James who says “there was a little shove in the back” which led to the decisive free being moved up to within scoring range. James also says that this wasn’t the only such free we conceded late on in the game before adding the now inevitable rider that “we’ll learn from it”.
I still think it was an incredibly harsh decision by the ref – the ball wasn’t in play when the incident happened, it wasn’t at all clear that there even was a shove and even if there was Coulter had a clear incentive to make a meal of it. And you can be damn sure that every one of our inside forwards would have been jostled and held as every free in we got was about to be taken but this was the only one punished.
It is, I know, water under the bridge that this stage but I think it’s a decision that may have major implications for us this year, given there’s every chance now that our head-to-head record against Down will be what’ll relegate us. Just the kind of cheery thought that’s needed on a cold and miserable Monday.