Adding insult to injury

Poor old Billy Morgan. Not only does he have to suffer the indignity, once again, of seeing his charges getting their holes well and truly kicked by Kerry – this time in front of the entire nation in the All-Ireland final – but now the Croke Park People’s Court have hit him with a 24-week touchline ban. And all, according to Sean Moran in today’s Irish Times (sub required), for a bit of verbals on the sideline with linesman Martin Duffy. Morgan apparently pointed out that Cork jerseys were being pulled with impunity and, when Duffy responded to this statement (though we’re not told in what terms), Morgan said he then retorted that “it was a pity that he couldn’t spot Cork jerseys being pulled in Killarney either”. Morgan then conceded that he got “quite angry” and said that “another exchange” ensued. We’re not told what the content of this one was but one can only assume that it included a few items that Billy might want to draw the parish priest’s attention to when next in the confessional.

However, the fact that the linesman was one Martin Duffy is more than a little relevant to Billy’s apparent sideline explosion. Duffy was the ref who didn’t see Derek Kavanagh getting yanked back by the jersey in the closing stages of this year’s Munster final and his decision then not to award the Rebels a penalty (Sir Alex refers to such incidents as “a stonewall penalty decision”) at that juncture effectively gifted the Munster title to the Kingdom.

Now, I know, Billy has a bit of previous when it comes to getting a mite OTT on the sideline but, then again, don’t we all from time to time? Considering (a) the individual involved and his track record earlier in the campaign and (b) the fact that Cork were getting clocked while all this was going on, the People’s Court could, IMHO, have gone a tad easier on a man who has, after all, given a lifetime’s service to the GAA.

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