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Published: 07:00 | 29/8/16

Fitzmaurice pays tribute to Dublin

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice refused to be drawn on referee David Gough's performance, preferring to praise Dublin's victory in the All-Ireland SFC semi-final.

With Kerry trailing by a point, Gough waved play on after Kevin McManamon's crunching shoulder on Peter Crowley and it was to prove decisive as Diarmuid Connolly went on to score a point and claim a 0-22 to 2-14 win.

Kerry fans were unhappy with the decision but Fitzmaurice opted not to speak about the incident in his post-match interviews.

“To be honest, I made a decision coming down the corridor I’m going to bite my lip, because if I say anything that becomes our reaction — which isn’t the reaction," Fitzmaurice is quoted as saying in the Irish Examiner.

“The reaction is that Dublin are an outstanding team.”

Dublin trailed Kerry by five points at the half-time break but the All-Ireland champions hit back in the second half to inflict a fourth successive championship defeat on Kerry.

While disappointed to miss out on a place in the All-Ireland final, Fitzmaurice was quick to praise Dublin for the way in which they battled back.

“Any time you lose an All-Ireland semi-final you are going to be disappointed,” Fitzmaurice told The Sunday Game. “We put ourselves in a great position but we didn't bring it home.

“We felt we put ourselves in a good position at half-time. We played well in the second half of the first-half but you have to give a lot of credit to Dublin.

“We had them rattled at half-time but as they have done a lot of times in the past, a lot of different teams are very good at using half-time to right the ship.

“They just managed to pull away there in the end with two points in injury-time. Unfortunately, we couldn't get a score going the other way.

“It was a great battle and a great team came out on top.”

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