GAA | Clans denied by controversial penalty in Clogherhead

Division One League| Dreadnots 1–13 Clan na Gael 2–10

Clan na Gael’s Ray McCabe, seen here in action against St Brides, was punished for the Dreadnots penalty on Saturday. PICTURE: CIARAN CULLIGAN

The Clans were just minutes away from making a winning start to life in Division One when referee Anthony Briscoe awarded a controversial penalty which helped the Dreadnots to snatch a point in Clogherhead on Saturday evening.

Mark McCann was able to call on Louth star Conall McKeever and his looping effort over the head of Dreadnots goalkeeper Derek Shevlin put the Castletown side four points ahead with time running out.

The hosts, however, were thrown a lifeline when the referee adjudged Ray McCabe to have blocked a Paraic Smith shot with his foot, despite the Clans player being some distance away from the effort.

A penalty was the verdict with Smith beating his namesake, Sean Smith in the Clans goals, to leave just a point in it and James Califf levelled the score in the next passage of play.

The visitors still had time to win it, though, but Kevin Carroll snatched at a good opportunity with the posts in his sight from 20 yards.

The penalty decision was just one of a number of decisions which left the Clans unhappy, the first coming when Mark McGeown was taken down for a first-half penalty with no black card for the offending Dreadnots player. Billy Smith converted to give the visitors a two-point lead at the break.

The Dreadnots responded well in the opening 15 minutes of the second-half with a hat-trick of Califf points and a Pat Lynch effort edging them in front.

At the other end, they struggled to deal with the speed and direct running of the Clan na Gael attack and points from McGeown and Robbie Curran were followed up by McKeever’s goal.

That looked to have sealed a notable win for McCann’s side but they were reeled in and made the journey back to Dundalk wondering what might have been.

Best for the visitors were Micheal McDonnell, Paul Crewe, Mark McGeown and Billy Smith. Next up for the Clans is a mouth-watering Dundalk derby against the Sean O’Mahony’s on the Ecco Road.

DREADNOTS: Drek Shevlin; Brian Gargan, Padraig Rath, Anthony Williams; Barry Mulroy, Cian McEvoy (0–1), Aaron Scullion; Fergal McGuigan, David O’Brien; Pat Lynch (0–2), Cathal Lynch, James Califf (0–7); Peter Kirwan, Paraic Smith (1–3), Carl Monaghan. Subs: Barry Mulroy, Barry Faulkner, Darragh Shevlin, Dermot Campbell.

CLAN NA GAEL: Sean Smith; Ian Carr, Paul Crewe, Donal Boyle; Micheal McDonnell, Stephen Fitzpatrick (0–1), Craig Long; Conor Noonan, Robbie Curran (0–2); Stephen Coleman (0–1), JJ Quigley (0–1), Conal McKeever (1–0); Mark McGeown (0–4), Billy Smith (1–1), Ray McCabe. Sub: Kevin Carroll for S Coleman.

REFEREE: Anthony Briscoe.

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