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*David Tubridy’s goal was disallowed in Sunday’s tie between Doonbeg & Ennistymon. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

DOONBEG’s senior football management have voiced their annoyance with a decision to disallow a David Tubridy goal at the death of Sunday’s Clare SFC third round clash with Ennistymon.

With sixty one minutes on the net, David Tubridy palmed the ball to the back of the net after a Paul Dillon shot on goal was saved by Ennistymon goalkeeper Noel Sexton. The West Clare faithful at Hennessy Memorial Park, Miltown Malbay went wild as they appeared to have snatched victory in the dying moments.

However, referee Chris Maguire consulted with his umpires and adjudged that Tubridy was in the square and the green flag didn’t stand. It was the last attack in the game and Ennistymon recorded a 1-08 0-09 victory which put them as the top team in Group 3 and into a quarter-final while it meant Doonbeg failed to secure a win in the group stages and thus are headed for the relegation play-offs.

Coach of the Doonbeg side, Kieran O’Mahoney was very frustrated with the decision. “It was tough to take, Ennistymon are a very decent team, they have a lot of good footballers, they were always going to come back into, we fought tooth and nail and you couldn’t complain about our lads, it’s sad it’s a week where referees have got a lot of abuse and nobody condones that but at the same time you can’t condone bad decisions, when you’re training teams for eight, nine or ten months and a game hinges on a bad refereeing decision referees have to take responsibility as well as managements and players for what goes on, on the sideline and on the field”.

He told The Clare Echo, “I don’t think anybody denies it was a legitimate goal, the referee just made a bad call, that’s the way it is, games are won and lost on bad calls especially tight games and this was a real tight game, I really think on the sway of things in the second half Ennistymon were deserved winners”.

David Tubridy’s contribution was praised by O’Mahoney as he struggled to comprehend the rationale behind the disallowed goal. “David has been the best forward in the county for fifteen years at this stage, when the pressure was on he stepped up, David got a great goal at the end and for some strange reason that nobody seems to understand the free was given out, nobody seems to understand why it was, that’s just the way the breaks go”.

O’Mahoney flagged that Tubridy was entitled to move into the square when the ball was in the air after Sexton’s save. “Referees and umpires have a lot to answer for as well as managements and players to the discipline of the game, we all stand up and do things wrong but referees also need to stand up when they make mistakes”.

Crucially in the second half, Doonbeg were outscored 1-02 0-00 during the ten minutes when Ennistymon had fourteen men on the field following Cillian Rouine’s black card. “It might have been a harsh black card as well, I didn’t really see it. They are a real decent team with two or three inter-county footballers, they’ve been playing Division A since they were twelve years old, they are more than capable, they are a very decent outfit and will put it up to anyone that get at this stage, we wish them the best of luck and have no ill-feeling towards Ennistymon, the game went to the wire and we came out at the wrong side of it and that’s the way it is”.

According to the 1991 Clare SFC winning captain, the move of David Fitzgerald from the full-forward line to the middle third was a big turning point in Ennistymon upping their challenge. “David Fitzgerald caused trouble. Lads get tired too, when you’re pushing forward you do tend to leave gaps when you’re chasing a game, we were chasing it there at the end but I think Ennistymon were deserving winners”.

Noted for their determination, Doonbeg will have to produce this in spades when they face off with either St Joseph’s Miltown or Kilmihil in the relegation series. “The minimum requirement from any team is battle, if they’re not going to battle, we will get someone in there who will battle”.

He added, “We’ve a young team building away slowly, we’ve had three great games and we’ll face the next game the exact same as this one”.

Relegation had not been on the minds before the Ennistymon game, he admitted. “To be honest we didn’t think about it, I’m not giving you a short answer we didn’t think about it. We have to think about it now. We’ll be back into it on Tuesday evening and be ready to face the next battle”.


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