Yesterdays’s All-Ireland semi-final surprised a lot of people with the quality and the sporting manner in which it was played but there were second- half incidents that took away from the spectacle.
Maurice Deegan had a good first half, highlights being his correct card for Marc Ó Sé in the 15th minute and then punishing Tiernan McCann for overcarrying. However, the rules didn’t permit him bringing the ball forward over 13 metres. Maurice brought it forward more than 20 metres.
It was in the second half where some of Maurice’s decisions lacked consistency and clarity, starting in the 54th minute when Ronan McNamee was incorrectly black carded for what was a yellow card offence. Shane Enright, unlike McNamee, escaped similar punishment for a clear black card foul and was shown a yellow card for bringing down Peter Harte in the 58th minute.
As for the penalty in the 60th minute, Barry Tierney was fortunate to be awarded it as it appeared there was minimal contact by Killian Young. In fact, there was more reason for Maurice to give a penalty to Padraig McNulty five minutes later when Aidan O’Mahony fouled instead. McNulty was booked for diving.
In the 68th minute, Ronan McNabb should have been given either a black card for a deliberate body collide or a red for inflicting injury on Colm Cooper. Instead, a yellow card was shown. In the 72nd minute, Darran O’Sullivan should seen black.
Another glaring error in this game was the time-keeping. Two minutes were played at the end yet I counted five stoppages in the second half. In the 36th minute, Ronan McNamee was injured and was down for 30 seconds. In the 39th minute, Maurice took 14 seconds to remove Tyrone selector Gavin Devlin from behind the goals. In the 53rd minute, Colm Cooper was injured for one minute. In the 57th minute, Colm Cavanagh was down for 53 seconds before Cooper was again down in the 68th minute, for one minute and 36 seconds. Add those five stoppages up and they amount to four minutes and 13 seconds. According to the rules, that should have been rounded up to five minutes.
In the minor game, Jerome Henry made a great call black carding Derry’s Shane McGuigan on 47 minutes for pulling down Kerry’s Jason Foley. If senior refs followed his example, we might have less unsporting incidents.
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