All-Ireland champions Kerry got off to an inconspicuous start in their league campaign this afternoon, losing to Donegal on a scoreline of 0-13 to 1-9 in Ballyboffey.
It was a very close game, with the two sides trading blows throughout. With the match level deep into injury time, Paddy McBrearty would step up to kick the winning score for the home side.
Patrick McBrearty clinches victory for Donegal with a last-minute winner. pic.twitter.com/QCPOAgZPIX
— The GAA (@officialgaa) January 29, 2023
This was a massive win for Donegal, who many people had tipped to be relegated at the end of the campaign. While that may well still be the case, a win over Kerry will give them something to build on moving forward.
As for The Kingdom, they seem to feel aggrieved about one decision in the game that didn't go their way.
Jack O'Connor criticises officials after Kerry loss
With the game being decided by the narrowest of margins, the result certainly could have been a different one. Kerry feel that a decision made by the officials had a part to play in deciding the outcome.
In the 30th minute, Donegal's Caolan McGolgan was awarded a point that seemed to cause confusion between the umpires. It was eventually given after a consultation with referee Liam Devenney, although many at the match in Ballybofey felt that the ball had actually gone wide.
Speaking to the media after the game, Jack O'Connor said that he could not believe that a score had been awarded for what he felt was a 'blatant' wide (h/t The Kerryman):
Donegal had a point there that was blatantly wide. I mean everyone in the stand… ye saw that did ye?
Anyway, look, it is what it is, you don’t get many breaks when you come to away grounds like this. Just very disappointing, I felt we deserved a point out of it at a minimum.
But that’s it, we go down the road with our tails between our legs, lick our wounds and try to regroup for next week.
This is going to be a real dog-fight this league. It’s going to be real tough to get points, particularly away from home because you just don’t seem to get any kind of breaks.
I mean, the one from the umpire there was fairly blatant like. That’s an awful decision. Everyone in the stand and everybody on that far side of the field that looked at that knew that that ball was wide.
That shouldn’t be happening at this level of football. The linesman said it was wide and yet he didn’t communicate with the umpire. That’s an incredible decision in a division one game.
Considering that this incident happened at an early stage in the game, it is impossible to know if it would have had an effect on the final result.
However, Jack O'Connor certainly isn't happy that the score was given.