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Pat Spillane Thought Armagh Penalty Was 'Inconclusive' After Analysis

Pat Spillane Thought Armagh Penalty Was 'Inconclusive' After Analysis
By Jonathan Byrne Updated

Armagh and Monaghan endured some tough conditions at the Athletic Grounds on Saturday evening, but the referee had some tougher calls to make on the pitch.

The Sunday Game panel on RTÉ dissected some of the pivotal moments of the Allianz National League game, including decisions made by referee Barry Cassidy.

The most controversial moment of the match involved an Armagh penalty taken by Rian O'Neill. O'Neill guided the ball onto the Monaghan crossbar.

It appeared to bounce back down into Rory Beggan's goal before being cleared away. The footage from in front of the goal was murky, but videos that surfaced online told another story.

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Pat Spillane gave his two cents on the controversial penalty, which could have been decisive for Armagh as they went on to draw the game with Monaghan.

"Now a lot of video evidence today saying was this over the line or not, we don't know," he said. "We can't. It is inconclusive from this angle whether it was a goal or not."

The Sunday game had shown a replay directly facing the Monaghan goal, which led Joanne Cantwell to ask, "And even from the (videos) doing the rounds?"

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"We're not sure," Spillane responded. What made matters worse was referee Barry Cassidy had positioned himself on the sideline along with his two umpires to view the goal.

Other Big Moments

Conor McManus was sent off at the start of the second half for an off-the-ball incident with Aidan Forker. He appeared to clash with the Armagh man and saw red as a result.

Spillane thought the decision was harsh. "To me, in my opinion, Forker swung the arm back there, and from what I can see Conor McManus pushed him back and your man made a meal of it."

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The decision to award Armagh a penalty was justified, in Spillane's opinion. "This was a penalty, there was a pullback, no problem at all," he said.

But Spillane thought Monaghan's Dessie Ward didn't warrant a black card. "Rory Grugan was holding Dessie Ward's hand and threw himself to the ground. That was not a black card."

Later in the game, Rian O'Neill was pulled up for a high tackle and the two Sunday Game panelists dissected the yellow card, even if Spillane was a bit unsure.

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"I was looking to say immediately, this could have been a black, was it a deliberate pulldown? But it's so grey," Spillane said, going back and forth on the matter.

"I think for that type of tackle, Rian O'Neill, most referees for a high tackle around the neck would generally give a yellow. I think it was probably the correct decision," Ciarán Whelan remarked.

See Also: Controversy Over Whether Armagh Penalty Crossed The Goal Line

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