If it’s not the black card, it’s the advantage rule
It’s probably not fair to be always bringing up refereeing issues, because it is a thankless task at the best of times.
But there is a serious lack of consistency again this year over black cards and even more so recently with the advantage rule. Last weekend in Thurles, Roscommon whistler Paddy Neilan (a referee who is remembered by those associated with Coláiste na Carraige from a previous day in Mullingar a few years ago) had a bad day at the office, especially in relation to the advantage rule and the Tipperary supporters were not very happy at the end. However, if Armagh had lost that game, then the goal that they were denied in the opening half would have been an even bigger talking point than it was.
Then in the Ulster final Tyrone lost Kieran McGeary to a black card just before half-time when he was tackling a Down opponent, fell back to the ground and the Down player fell on top of him!
I have been campaigning for some time for the abolition of this black card, but there was one incident during that Ulster final that I would retain the black card for. Shortly after that black card for Tyrone, Down were through for a goal with Darragh O’Hanlon firing just wide of the post after being put clean through. The actions of Tyrone ‘keeper, Niall Morgan, in the aftermath as O’Hanlon went to ground with his head in his hands deserved punishment. Instead of being relieved that the Down man had missed an open goal, he went over to goad him about the miss. Remember, this is supposed to be sport and there is something to be admired in sportsmanship. Something that was missing in this incident!
Imagine what young Gaelic players will take from this sort of behaviour. Do we want to see U-12s goading an opposition forward after he has misses a score?
There are enough problems at underage without starting that trend.
Apart from the heroics of a Carlow team that just ran out of steam, there wasn’t much to report from the weekend. Dublin remain the team to beat while Tyrone again showed that they have improved from last year.
These two are due to collide in the All-Ireland semi-final and it is difficult to see how that will be avoided.
Predictions: Kildare to defeat Armagh; Monaghan to defeat Down, which will mean Tyrone v Kildare and Dublin v Monaghan in the All-Ireland quarter-finals.
Golfing success for GAA men
What to do when your GAA career is over. Martin O’Reilly of MacCumhaill’s and Donegal looks to have a future on the links. As part of the build-up for Donegal’s clash with Galway on Saturday next, Martin almost took Bernard Foy’s Captain’s Prize at Ballybofey and Stranorlar Golf Club at the weekend. O’Reilly had a fantastic 41 points on Saturday, but in the second round on Sunday had to settle for 4th place. (Having county training at 9 on Sunday morning wasn’t the ideal preparation!)
But he has time on his side.
Meanwhile, he might get some tips from former county ‘keeper, Tony Blake, who went and won the Captain’s Prize at Letterkenny Golf Club at the weekend. Tony held off the challenge of his former St. Eunan’s GAA club team-mate Adrian McClafferty who was second.
On Sunday because of computer problems, I was confined to the office for all of Sunday afternoon and had to rely on RTE Radio 1 for coverage of the Ulster final between Tyrone and Down. Brian Carthy was doing the commentary and he had Eamon McGee as co-commentator and it was the most refreshing radio I have listened to in some time. McGee was well informed but, more importantly, was able to speak off the cuff and his timing was that of a veteran. Also, the Gaoth Dobhair man doesn’t have an ego and is able to laugh at himself.
Methinks he could have a very good future in the role.