HE EMERGED from the dressing room and came straight towards the waiting hacks. Andrew McLoughlin was unyielding. According to the Ellistown player he did not foul Bernard Brogan.
In the second and final minute of stoppage time with the game hanging in the balance Cormac Reilly blew his whistle for a free. The first instinct was to condemn McLoughlin for his actions. On second look however Reilly got in wrong. Very wrong.
Had McLoughlin committed the foul there was no way he would have faced journalists and foolishly denied it. He knew he was right.
“You guys (the media) could see it better and could see it wasn’t a free. I know in my head that it wasn’t a free and it was an unfortunate way to end such a good game of football,” he insisted.
“I just seen the ball coming in and I was going for it and suddenly the ref blew the whistle. I actually thought the game was over, that that was the final whistle. I knew it wasn’t a free and you will see that on TV,” he added.
Kildare fought back from a four point deficit late on thanks to a superb goal and a point from Eamonn Callaghan. The game looked to be heading for a replay. It should have been heading for a replay and frustration is the only word McLoughlin could use to describe the outcome of this semi final.
“It’s very frustrating that it happens. It’s frustrating from our own point of view too. We should be further ahead and that way these decisions wouldn’t effect us. We need to take matters in to our own hands,” he explained.
McLoughlin lost his place in the starting XV to Ollie Lyons but came on and did a fine job on danger man Bernard Brogan. Competition for places on this team is fierce and McLoughlin knows he cannot rest on his laurels.
“It disrespectful to think someone on the line is better than someone that is starting. Ollie (Lyons) was doing a terrific job on Bernard and if he hadn’t injured his shoulder he would have stayed on,” said the Lilies’ defender.
Up next is Laois in the qualifiers and Kildare must now put the disappointment of Sunday behind them. Something, that McLoughlin says, will not be a problem.
“All we are looking forward to now is the Laois game. The Dublin game is over now and in two weeks time we have to be ready for Laois. Our ultimate goal is still there for the taking and we’ll take it game by game,” he remarked.