The All-Ireland final replay referee Maurice Deegan admitted he made a mistake in the first half of the game in failing to black card John Small for a foul on Andy Moran.
Public unhappiness with referees peaked in the closing stages of this year's championship, with Conor Lane shipping heaps of criticism for his handling of the drawn game and then Maurice Deegan taking more or less the same level of abuse for his stewardship of the replay.
Frustration and widespread ignorance about the black card is complicating matters for the men in the middle and has proven the trigger for endless controversies.
Deegan showed black cards to three players in the replay, Lee Keegan, Jonny Cooper, and Rob Hennelly.
Speaking to RTE today, Deegan is satisfied he got all three calls correct. But he says there should have been four black cards. He failed to pull John Small up earlier in the game.
In my view, I’m happy that I got the three of them right.
But I will say one thing, I definitely missed the black card that I should have got – that was in the first five minutes of the game.
It was John Small on Andy Moran. I wasn’t 100% sure that I saw it.
We were wired up. Obviously, when you come to Croke Park your umpires and everyone is wired up.
I would have asked my linesman did he see it, and he said he didn’t see it clearly.
When you don’t see it clearly – and especially from where I was standing, I couldn’t see it clearly either – I asked the umpires and no one had seen it properly, they weren’t 100% sure.
Deegan added that if you're not sure you can't make the call. Having watched the incident back, the match-day ref acknowledges that John Small should have been black-carded.