McEnaney: Pressure won't be a problem for McQuillan

14 September 2017

Referee Joe McQuillan with Mayo's Cillian O'Connor and Jack McCaffrey of Dublin during the 2015 All-Ireland SFC semi-final ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Former top referee Pat McEnaney expects Joe McQuillan to handle the pressure in this weekend’s All-Ireland SFC final.

McQuillan will take charge of his third Sam Maguire Cup decider on Sunday, having handled the finals in 2011 and 2013, and McEnaney feels that the Cavan official will continue his good form with the whistle in this year’s championship.

“Joe lets the game flow but he is not afraid to produce a red card either,” the Monaghan man is quoted saying in The Irish Times.

“He has had a pretty good championship. I think he struggled in the league, when his performances wouldn’t have been at the standard he wanted them to be at.

“Come championship, his first game was Meath versus Kildare and that was an entertaining game and he handled the Ulster final, Tyrone and Down, very well and while it was a one-sided game, that in itself in an Ulster final takes managing. Then he handled a cracking game between Mayo and Roscommon. The drawn match.

“Now, did he make one mistake?”

“The biggest thing an experienced ref like McQuillan must ask himself is, ‘Am I up for the game? Am I fully focused?’ Looking at some of his performances during the league it suggests no he wasn’t. It took championship to get him lifted.

“So, an All-Ireland final will be easy for McQuillan. Experienced referees, I found, it’s important not to fall into the trap of – I’ve been here before and I know how it works. You should have a slight bit of nerves.”

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