The Sporting Diary

with Sports Editor Peter Campbell

The Sporting Diary

Minor disappointment

The Donegal minors bowed out of the championship on Sunday and it is always hard to take when you lose at semi-final stage. They came up against a really good Galway side and although they will feel that they didn’t perform to their best, they should be happy that they have had a very good year.

The loss of Aidan McLaughlin to sickness was a factor but when they sit down and analyse Sunday’s game, they will have to accept that they just met a better team on the day.

Hopefully, getting to play twice in Croke Park and winning Ulster Minor League and Championship medals will encourage them to develop their game further and play at senior level in the coming years.

Milford’s rise

Who would have thought it possible? Milford, better known as a soccer stronghold, will be playing in the top flight of Donegal GAA next year. I have trawled through Fr. Seán’s Book of Facts and I can find no reference to a county senior player connected to Milford. No doubt there have been players from the town who have played, but they were connected to other clubs.

Going from Division 4 to Division 1 in four seasons is phenomenal. When they were promoted last year from Division 3 to Division 2, many wondered if they would be able to survive.

Well they have shown that with hard work and the right attitude anything is possible.

As former county minor from the club, Aidan Cannon, says elsewhere in this paper, it puts their players in the shop window now and he says he will be very surprised if some of them are not given the chance at county level.

Black Card madness

The black card was back in focus at the weekend with the dismissal of Tipperary’s centre half-back Robbie Kiely after just eight minutes of the All-Ireland semi-final for a tackle. By the letter of the law, the referee was probably correct, but was the black card introduced for this reason?

Was the black card not introduced because of cynical tackling towards the end of games?

It has proved to be very controversial and the time has come to put it back in the bin.

There are two much better ways of dealing with cynicism. One is the awarding of a free from the edge of the ‘D’ against the team who are penalised or the option of the ‘sin bin’. Ten minutes in the ‘sin bin’ would be my preferred option and would be a much fairer way of dealing with this issue.

If the ‘sin bin’ were in operation last Sunday, then the Tipperary player would have been punished by ten minutes on the sideline and would, rightfully, have been able to take his place in the centre of the defence for the rest of the game.

Brave Dundalk

Hats off to Dundalk who came so close to reaching the group stages of the Champions League on Tuesday night in Warsaw. But for a really harsh penalty award against them in the first leg at the Aviva Stadium, the previous Wednesday night, they could well have overcome the Polish side.

The way they competed against all comers in Europe over the past couple of months augurs well for the League of Ireland. Like Milford, they have shown that if you want something and apply yourself, then anything is possible.