You can never fault Denis Connerton’s honesty after games and the Longford Slashers manager rarely looks for excuses but on Sunday he felt the need to criticise Meath referee David Gough after Slashers were defeated by Portlaoise after extra-time in the Leinster Club Championship quarter-final.
Speaking to the Leader he said: “I thought the opening 3 points of the game he handed it to them. I was disappointed with the referee. After they got the goal we had a player down and he let them play on and they got a point. When their player went down in extra-time he stopped play; there was no hesitation there. We had players down several times and we weren’t feigning injury, they couldn’t get attention and we had to move on.”
Though he did admit that his side had what looked like an unassailable lead early in the second half but squandered that: “The referee’s performance is not going to detract from the fact that we were 8 points up. We had a fantastic platform from which to win and we just weren’t able to hold on. Their bench was seriously strong.Their goalkeeper was forced to retire injured and their sub keeper came on and kicked a point. That was sickening.”
Connerton believes a few things went against his side on Sunday: “It’s the small little things. We were on the attack when they got their goal. That was the so crucial score. If they did not get that goal we would have won the game. Our heads went down and then they got that point directly after the goal. That was a 4 point turnaround. We had started the second half well and then we stopped playing. Mentally we relaxed a little because we were 8 points up. We are disappointed that we were 8 points up and weren’t able to close the deal but we put in a massive effort. It’s one of those days and we will move on.”