John Bannon: Good job, but Brian Gavin should have awarded more frees

We’ll come to the football shortly but first yesterday’s All-Ireland hurling semi-final where Brian Gavin did well but should have awarded more frees.

He attempted to allow the game to flow but there were a couple of decisions that were wrong such as Walter Walsh receiving no free when Stephen O’Keeffe brought him down in the 10th minute. Waterford were also incorrectly awarded a line ball in the seventh minute when Shane Bennett was the last to touch it before it went over the line.

The advantage rule seems to be settling in well in football but there remains confusion about it in hurling. In the 57th minute, Ger Aylward was fouled by Kevin Moran. Brian put his hand up to signal advantage and Richie Hogan put his shot wide. No free was awarded.

Looking at the rulebook, a referee in football is permitted to allow play to continue if a foul is committed. However, for advantage in hurling play can only be allowed to continue if a technical foul has taken place. It’s an unusual one. The last quarter of the Tyrone-Monaghan All-Ireland quarter-final was the most difficult period to referee in this year’s championship.

Marty Duffy did well to keep it under control when so much messing was going on. Referees’ hands are tied in such situations with issues like simulation.

Marty signalled six minutes of additional time at the end but nine was played.

Unfortunately, there was little football in that period of injury-time. There has been a lot of debate about Conor Meyler’s black card but it was the right call. It was a deliberate pull-down of Kieran Hughes but Hughes should also have gone for purposely body-checking Meyler. Hughes clearly moved into Meyler’s path to stop his progress.

It is still unclear what reason Marty had to send off Darren Hughes. Was it because he pulled down Colm Cavanagh or for the incident with Tiernan McCann?

David Gough had a much easier game to referee than Duffy.

He made a good call for a foul by Lee Keegan on Odhran Mac Niallais in the 13th minute although he missed a black card for Frank McGlynn after he hand-tripped Aidan O’Shea in the 23rd minute. Aidan’s decision to take a quick free may have saved Frank there. Gough was also on the mark when he gave a free to Donegal when David Clarke touched Colm McFadden’s shot on the ground.


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