And Limerick, as their tackling sharpens, will have less to fear.
Did Cormac Costello take pity on Roscommon in kicking that last penalty over the bar on Sunday?
It certainly seemed that way as he chose not to complete a hat-trick of penalty goals.
Like Robbie Fowler tamely took that penalty against Arsenal in 1997 after insisting he wasn’t fouled for it, you could be led to wonder if the Dublin forward was staging his own form of protest about the penalty decision, which was a tenuous interpretation of a foot block. Then again, Dublin were out of sight. His attitude might have been different had the fat been in the fire.
Afterwards, Roscommon manager Anthony Cunningham expressed his disappointment at the new sin bin/penalty rule having temporarily lost two players on top of Costello’s penalty goals, although some of his frustration was surely projected by seeing how the opposition took mercy on his team.
As he said about the All-Ireland champions: “Nobody — Dublin included — could understand why a penalty was given in some of those instances.”
Cunningham was right to question the fouls as being ones that denied goalscoring opportunities: “On two occasions I thought there were plenty of players back and I don’t think that rule... it possibly could be in hurling but not in football. I don’t think (there was) the reason for those two penalties there today.”
Certainly, the second penalty was most dubious.
Cunningham knows both games well and in his time in charge of the Galway hurlers would have seen how rule changes aimed at football were introduced in hurling.
Now it is the other way around and football is the victim of a catch-all rule.