Coldrick had complete control

David Coldrick had his best game of the year in yesterday’s All-Ireland semi-final.

As the game was played in an excellent spirit, it was right that he showed no yellow cards in the first-half. Both teams, despite being known as physical sides, played within the rules for large parts and Coldrick had complete control of the game.

Coldrick showed he was sticking to the rules. In the 10th minute, Michael Shields was blown up for attempting to take a free eight metres forward from where it was given and a throw-up was awarded.

In the 48th minute, Colm O’Neill was rightly punished for touching the ball on the ground and then in the 63rd minute Leo McLoone was called back for over-carrying.

What Coldrick demonstrated is that you can still have an excellent game while paying attention to the technical stuff.

In the 61st minute, Nicholas Murphy committed a cautionable foul on Neil McGee but he didn’t receive a yellow card until the 65th minute.

Something similar happened with Aidan Walsh earlier as Coldrick was willing to let the game flow with advantage.

I didn’t see enough evidence to give a free against Colm O’Neill for Cork’s goal.

On RTÉ Radio One Afterwards, Damien O’Reilly refused to read out messages from Cork because he said they were negative. If only he could exert the same editorial power when it comes to referees. I don’t think it’s fair for the media outlets to give prominence to the opinions of biased supporters about referees after defeats.

The minor game was a lot more controversial with Cathal O’Hagan guilty of giving some yellow cards for non-cautionable fouls. He didn’t give a free for a push in the 56th minute when Meath’s Patrick Kennelly committed a foul on the sideline.

Instead, a Meath sideline was awarded and from that another incorrect decision was made for the Meath penalty.

Adam Gallagher was yellow-carded for a foot block on the Meath player when in fact he was two metres away from him and not close enough to cause injury, as is necessary for the free/penalty to be given.

O’Hagan should have waved play on instead but Fiachra Ward was given the opportunity to level the game, which he did, and Meath went onto win the game.

In the lead-up to Meath’s winning goal, Kennelly also looked to have fouled the ball when passing to Cillian O’Sullivan who himself appeared to touch the ball on the ground.

On Saturday, John Sexton gave two yellow cards and two ticks before the start of the All-Ireland U21 hurling semi-final between Kilkenny and Galway. That action set the tone for the game and should be commended.


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