Fermanagh team manager Joe Baldwin questioned some of the officiating after his side's five-point defeat to a physically superior Warwickshire side in an ill-tempered and hard-fought Allianz NHL Division 3B final in Ederney.

And while he stressed that the eclectic Exiles were worthy winners, he strongly questioned some of the decisions of Kildare referee Conor Daly and also questioned why the umpires did not award a square ball for the visitor's crucial goal in the 54th minute.

“This is not taking away from Warwickshire but I thought at this level we deserve better and we put so much effort into it but that standard of refereeing here today was just not good enough," said Baldwin.

Luke Hands got on the end of a Kevin McKernan shot and flicked the ball to the net.

But although he appeared to be well inside the square referee Daly who was 50 yards away wrote down the score and the umpires kept their flags down.

When asked about the Warwickshire goal he first referenced one of their first-half points which was “three feet on the wrong side of the post".

“I thought it was a square ball.

“Who are these umpires in the GAA? Who are they and who qualifies them to be an umpire in the GAA and did they play hurling, did they watch hurling or are they just out for a Sunday dinner?

“The officiating today was brutal.

“Fair play to Warwickshire as they came here with a game plan and they deserved their victory today and we have to go and take a long hard look in the mirror.

“There was not a big lot wrong with what we need to have fixed but things did not just go our way but there will be a few hard questions asked this week, but we will be back at it next week and we will go from there,” he said.

“There were a few turning points in the game when we opened them up three times and we had three one-on-ones with Danann McKeogh, Tom Keenan and Brian Teehan just not executing and that could have been three goals for us.

“On the law of averages if you create four chances in the game you have to take at least two of them and we did not do that today.

“We missed five to six frees that we should have scored and that was a crucial factor too.”

He added: “We are still a work in progress and while I am disappointed, we lost the match but overall, we just got caught by a big strong physical team today.

“But while I don’t wish to be critical, some of the referee’s decisions today were shocking.

“There could have been three or four of the Warwickshire lads sent off and this is not how I look at how the game should be played.

“This is not taking away from Warwickshire, but I thought at this level we deserve better, and we put so much effort into it but that standard of refereeing here today was just not good enough.”

When asked about Warwickshire manager Tony Joyce’s provocative antics on the sideline Baldwin said: “Tony is exuberant and that is his style.

“Fair play to Tony. He is a hurling man and if he was in your corner every day you would love him and he was not in our corner.

“That man puts so much into hurling and I am delighted for him.”

And he saluted the immense contribution from Warwickshire’s recent signing Kevin McKernan who scored a wonderful sideline cut and was a key figure for the winners.

“Kevin is a quality player from a quality family in Belfast in Sarsfields and he made a huge difference.

“We have a lot of work to do and we have to go to Warwickshire and that will not be easy in the Lory Meagher Cup.”

The next challenge is against Leitrim in a fortnight away and Baldwin will be hoping for a general “bounce back”.