We await the exact reasoning behind the Disputes Resolution Authority’s decision to rescind Diarmuid Connolly’s red card but it can safely be said the GAA’s appeals structure is undermining the authority of referees on and off the field.
It naturally leads to more questioning of decision both on the pitch and in the committee room. It’s got to a stage now where most, if not all, red cards will look to be changed. It has created even greater problems for county and club referees when you see the inter-county stars beating the system.
And that is exactly what it is.
At least later on Saturday, we had a most effective and diligent refereeing performance by Eddie Kinsella. In terms of confidence, refereeing is the equivalent of playing and Eddie showed he was in full control of proceedings. Eddie has a great manner in dealing with players and is able to explain why he’s making the decision but never in a plamás way.
I have been critical of teams and players’ attitude to their playing of Gaelic football this year but it was a joy to watch this replay.
It actually reminded me of a club game with its amount of genuineness.
As last year’s All-Ireland final referee, Eddie will have been disappointed not to have been appointed to a quarter-final or semi-final but he was handed this match and he took the chance with both hands.
Cillian O’Connor could have been carded in the ninth minute but he was correctly reprimanded in the 11th minute for a collision with Stephen Cluxton. Dublin, it must be said, improved their discipline here from the drawn game although in the 21st minute they again had a ball brought forward after disputing an obvious foul by Paul Flynn. Eddie also did well to spot an off the ball foul on Aidan O’Shea shortly afterwards.
In the 37th minute, Seamus O’Shea was black carded when he dragged Johnny Cooper to the ground but Cooper should also have been yellowed for a rough shoulder in O’Shea’s back after the Mayo midfielder passed the ball. In the 40th minute, Eddie made a brilliant call in noticing a pull of Andy Moran’s jersey by Cooper.
In the 43rd minute, O’Connor’s goal stood and rightly so. According to the rules, a player can change ball from one hand to the other with the original holding hand maintaining contact until the change is completed.
It also appears McMahon’s goal was good even though it’s unclear on the basis of TV if Bernard Brogan’s pass was legitimate. Eddie was well positioned for both goals.
Two frees Eddie missed came in the 33rd minute when Bernard Brogan made a push that went unnoticed and in the 58th minute when Michael Fitzsimons accidentally tripped Andy Moran.
But there were only small drawbacks in what was a fine evening’s work for Kinsella.
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