Penalties must give greater reward

Presuming the system was recalibrated for hurling — you can’t be too sure — Hawk-Eye justified its cost yesterday. After the calamity of last year’s Limerick-Galway semi-final, it was redemption in a way.

Penalties must give greater reward

Hawk-Eye was called on in the very first minute with a Colin Fennelly shot as well as the last when John O’Dwyer’s long-range free was deemed to have been a miss.

As for the reason for the free being awarded? On seeing it in person, I can’t really say a free should have been given. Pádraic Maher was entitled to stand his ground and Brian Hogan did turn into him but neither appeared to foul the other. Allowing play to develop would have seemed the best option.

As I have often written in the past, one or two decisions can influence our view of a referee and the two in this game came in the first half, both against Eoin Larkin. He should have been awarded a free in the fourth minute and again in the 16th minute.

Barry Kelly correctly blew for a push by Seamus Callanan on JJ Delaney in the eighth minute and while the two penalties looked like fouls the infringements appeared to take place in different areas to where Bonner Maher and Lar Corbett ended up.

Both penalties were saved and if the GAA don’t know by now that they have to reduce the number of defenders on the goal-line then they never will.

For health and safety reasons, I’m against the 20m line being broken but the remedy is to cut those allowed to defend the penalty to one or two. I would be in support of one but some say that’s not fair.

Whatever the case, penalties have to be more of a reward to the attacking team and punishment to the defending side who commit the foul. And that needs to be changed very soon.

Look at it this way, if Tipperary had even one of those goals or opted to take a point in each case they may very well have won the game.

Kelly used his umpires well in both penalty situations and also worked well with one of his assistants for a direct pick-up by Darren Gleeson. However, Paddy Stapleton was lucky to stay on the pitch after he pulled Richie Power’s faceguard five minutes earlier.

In the minor game, Fergal Horgan’s refereeing didn’t affect the outcome but he could easily have blown for a few more fouls.

He made correct calls involving Barry Nash in the 10th minute and then Sean Morrissey but he could have given advantage in each case.

That’s the difficulties for referees in hurling compared to their football colleagues who have the benefit of the five-second window.

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