I’d be surprised if Davy’s on the sideline again this summer

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald speaks with side line official Mick Murtagh Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

A short-term gain for Davy Fitzgerald yesterday could turn out to be a long-term pain. His intervention seemed to upset Galway’s momentum and got his players going. 

He was duly sent to the stand and if he is on the sideline again in this year’s Championship I would be surprised.

I just don’t understand why managers are going up to fourth officials all the time and asking about infringements. 

The fourth official’s role is to introduce and record substitutes, raise the board for the subs, and signal whatever additional time there is at the end of play, as well as to man the sideline, keep the managements in their respective zones, and defuse any heated situations.

He has no other powers whatsoever so if Davy had a problem with the referee’s call or the linesman’s he should have directed it towards one of them instead.

This is the second or third time he has come to the attention of the disciplinary authorities recently and they are going to come down on him hard with a lengthy suspension.

I mentioned it earlier this month that the GAA are primed to cleanse the sidelines and if Greg Kennedy gave them reason to do so then Davy’s actions in the second half of yesterday’s game in Salthill has only copper-fastened that determination.

On a general point, looking at what happened in Pearse Stadium and elsewhere this weekend, the amount of indiscipline creeping into elite Gaelic games is shocking. 

Players are trying to mask non-tackles as tackles. 

In the Galway-Wexford game, Johnny Murphy probably wasn’t as fussy as normal but then he could do little but blow when there was so much holding of the arm. It beggared belief.

In three or four years’ time, we could be watching a game where a player who is challenging for possession or battling for a loose ball without both hands on the hurl will be blown for a free.

The spare hand is causing huge problems for referees because only some are calling it while others are letting it go and the inconsistency is infuriating. It’s the coaching of it that is dragging down the game.

Murphy was right to yellow-card Kevin Foley for pulling down Johnny Glynn, as he was when he booked Pádraic Mannion for tapping Lee Chin’s helmet, which was a good spot. 

No way was Daithí Burke’s booking correct — it was hardly a free.

And Murphy could have given more advantage to Johnny Hanbury when he ran through. Instead, he was called back for the free, which Galway missed.

Throw-ins are becoming trickier in hurling and Rory O’Connor was rightly booked for pulling carelessly. Johnny is improving and trying to let it flow and it was good to see fresh-faced umpires working with him.

Earlier yesterday, Fermanagh’s discipline left a lot to be desired and Joe McQuillan enforced their Ulster quarter-final well considering there was a nasty undercurrent to it. 

Ryan Jones was fortunate not to be red-carded and only booked when he swung the fist three times. 

Che Cullen could count himself unlucky to go into the book but the yellow cards for Declan McCusker and Daniel Teague for a late challenge were correct. 

The high tackles by Ryan McHugh and Paddy McGrath for Donegal were also appropriately penalised with yellow cards.

In Castlebar on Saturday evening, David Gough was sharp in ensuring the kick-outs were at least 13 metres in length and going outside the 20m line. 

He had a fine game and let things go as much as he could.

His judgement of the temperament of this derby was spot on.

However, the placement of David’s umpires left a lot to be desired at times and it probably resulted in Darren Coen being awarded a point when it should have been marked down as a wide. 

Both umpires have to be detecting scores, not just one.

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