GALWAY MANAGER PADRAIC JOYCE RUED the decision to award Kerry a 67th minute free kick in the All-Ireland SFC final this weekend.
Joyce feels that the controversial free when sides were drawn level at 16 points apiece was the turning point of the game.
Galway and Kerry contested one of the best finals in years, where Kerry came out on top in 0-20 0-16 win.
Referee Sean Hurson gave Kerry a free when Galways John Daly and Kerry sub-Killian Spillane engaged in a tussle. Spillane was considered to have held Daly, but the referee gave the free to the Kingdom.
Man of the Match David Clifford slotted the point over. Galway never responded with a score and lost by four on the day.
To me, the most important and crucial part of the game is how they got a free when the game was 16 points apiece. I couldn’t get over it," said Joyce,
"From where I was standing, it looked to be like Damien Comer was pushed in the back and it should have been a free out - and then he gave a free against John Daly for apparently holding his hand.
"John Daly had the ball in his hand, trying to get out.
"The reason his hand was up high was to stop the Kerry fella’s hand from going around his neck, which is what happened. I can’t get over it."
Joyce knew that giving away frees with Clifford in red hot form was not a good idea.
The turning point of the #AllIrelandFootballFinal #Galway manager Padraig Joyce believes it swung the game for #Kerry
Joyce says #Comer was pushed in the back and it should've been a free out to Galway
Was it a foul by John Daly? #kerryvgalway #galwayvkerry #GAA #Gaelic pic.twitter.com/a2rVc7Bt9h
— Paul Morrissey (@Paul_Morrissey) July 25, 2022
"Well, those frees are like tap-overs for the likes of Clifford," he said. "It was a two-point swing for us, we had the momentum at that stage.
Adding on what he said to the players, he added,
"I said to the players, to a man, I am really proud of them from where we have come from, where we were to where we are now as a group.
"The dressing-room in there is really hurting and I know everyone in the room, nobody gave us a chance in the match.
"But look it, we knew we had a great chance and bitterly disappointed that we had come so close.
"I thought we played very, very well," said Joyce. "We played football to try and win the game, went in at half-time ahead, 8-7 I think.
"Credit has to go to our defence, Liam Silke was outstanding at centre-back, kept Sean O’Shea very, very quiet. Jack Glynn was immense on Paudie Clifford.
"We had a foothold in the game. I know we lost a few kick-outs and stuff, but we fought our way into the game. Shane was outstanding up front, kicked some great scores. In at half-time, 8-7, came out after the break I think Kerry came at us, went a couple of points up. We came back."