Referee Cormac Reilly will hardly enjoy watching any re-run of today’s game following what was at best an average display from the Meath whistler. Interestingly most people myself included felt he was a good appointment following some very impressive recent showings but he made the mistake of not stamping his authority early on in the match and allowed too many bad tackles to go unpunished in poor conditions.
In fairness to him he did get the two penalty calls correct and the decision on Darren Hughes when he was fouled as he bore down on goals was also spot on. However the bookings of Penrose and Phillip Jordan were bizarre to say the least. They require some explanation because the whole crowd could see that Penrose was clearly fouled by Desi Mone when he went down. In fact how Mone managed to get through the game without a yellow card should also require explanation. As should Pauric Hughes and the role he played in Jordan’s booking in which the Tyrone player was clearly not the aggressor. While Cormac Reilly was administering “justice” to Philip Jordan the real aggressor Gallogly slipped off the field without as much as a backward glance.
While this was caused debate and surprise to many it was the number of basic decisions that he got wrong that would suggest to me that the game had gotten away from him and he was struggling to cope long before it threatened to kick off following the first half red card for Monaghan captain Dick Clerkin. It was a learning experience for the ref and one I would imagine he will remember for a long time. He was a good ref before today and if he reflects positively on this game he may be an even better one next time out.