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Éamonn Fitzmaurice: Teams doing homework on referees

In a gripping contest that on occasions spilled over, referee Conor Lane had his hands full on Sunday for the Division 1 final between Dublin and Derry.

A game full of talking points and fine margins, the Cork official was always likely to be at the centre of calls which would later come under full scrutiny.

Unfortunately for Lane, both Dessie Farrell and Mickey Harte voiced their displeasure in the aftermath of Derry's penalty shootout success.

The Dublin boss suggested that they will appeal Brian Fenton’s red card while Harte was frustrated by the late free that went against Conor Doherty that ensured the tie went to extra-time.

"I would have had plenty of issues with his decisions," Harte said afterwards.

The earlier game at GAA HQ – while decided by a point – was a far more sedate affair, with Paul Faloon in the middle as Donegal edged out Armagh in the Division 2 decider.

While the games differed significantly in the approach of the respective teams, the difference in the application of the rules by the respective referees is also a factor according to former Kerry manager Éamonn Fitzmaurice.

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"Paul Faloon’s style is to let it go, unless it is something very obvious," he told the RTÉ GAA podcast.

"Other referees are fussier, but with the rule book, there are grey areas.

"When teams are analysing the upcoming games, part of the conversation is the referee you have."

One area where the 2014 All-Ireland winning manager felt there was uniformity among the referees across the four league