Former Antrim star says Tipperary could have won All-Ireland

Terence 'Sambo' McNaughton

Tipperary would have won last year’s All-Ireland final had the new penalty rule proposal been in place, according to former Antrim star Terence ‘Sambo’ McNaughton.

The Cushendall man, a member of the Hurling 2020 committee, argues Eamon O’Shea’s side would have beaten Kilkenny had they just Eoin Murphy to beat.

Tipperary were awarded three penalties over their two All-Ireland final meetings, two in the first game and one in the replay.

On Sep 7, Seamus Callanan and John O’Dwyer both had shots saved. In the Sep 27 replay, Callanan opted for a point with a second half penalty. As per the interpretation introduced early in last year’s Championship, the pair had to strike the ball before or on the 20 metre line. But the Hurling 2020 recommendation, which is to be trialled in this month’s pre-season competitions, will see just the goalkeeper permitted on the goal-line for penalties with the ball still having to be struck before or on the 20m line.

“Tipperary would have won an All-Ireland this year with these changes. They had four (sic, three) penalties over the two All-Ireland finals and only scored a point. If I was a coach and I could put 10 people on the goal-line, I would tell the backs ‘if a forward is going through, drag them down, don’t let them get a chance at goal – there’s more chance of saving the penalty’.

“If you stop a forward from getting a goal the advantage has to stay with the forward.”

The trial is expected to extend to the League as well as the 20m free proposal, which will restrict the defending team to three players on the goal-line.


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