Sorry to spoil your sandwiches and crisps, hombres, but it’s just been confirmed that Joe McQuillan – Dublin’s in-house ref for most of last year’s championship – will take charge of our semi-final against the All-Ireland champions on 2nd September.
This will be the first time the Cavan official has been put in charge of one of our championship matches since the pig’s breakfast he made out of our quarter-final with Meath back in 2009. That wasn’t the first time he gave us reason for collective teeth-grinding in the championship either, as he was also the man in the middle for our first round Connacht championship tie against Galway back in 2007. Our most recent encounter with him was this year’s league match against Cork in Castlebar. Yeah – we lost that one too.
We can only hope, I guess, that McQuillan has improved as the years have gone by and that he’ll give us a fair shake when it comes to facing the Dubs. I know there was plenty of trepidation ahead of the Down quarter-final (which I shared) about Maurice Deegan but these fears proved to be unfounded on the day. Despite the scar tissue we’ve got to show from previous encounters with McQuillan, we’ve just got to hope that it’ll be the same on this occasion. I wouldn’t be holding my breath, though, for him to pull Cluxton (à la Michael Collins with Cillian O’Connor) for taking too long over the frees …
It’s also been confirmed that Tyrone’s Cathal O’Hagan will ref our minor semi-final against Meath on Sunday week. I’ve never heard of him before, to be honest.
Meath’s David Coldrick will, by the way, take charge of the Cork/Donegal semi-final. He could have his hands full in that one.