HomeFootballBrian Gavin: Extremely harsh red for Tipp minor Minogue

Brian Gavin: Extremely harsh red for Tipp minor Minogue

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The most disputable decision across the weekend came not in Croke Park but in Nowlan Park where Tipperary’s Cillian Minogue was sent off in the seventh minute of the All-Ireland minor hurling final. Minogue and Kilkenny player Bobby Brennan appeared to be holding each other’s hurls and when Minogue tried to break free from his marker’s hold, the hurl went loose and made contact with Brennan.

Referee Thomas Gleeson consulted with his linesman and the advice was to send off Minogue to almost everyone’s amazement. It was an extremely harsh call and in no way did Minogue swing back to deserve such a punishment.

Credit to Brennan, he didn’t go to ground but had Tipperary not rallied from it and Darragh O’Hora’s dismissal in the 18th minute to pull off a remarkable victory the verdict on Gleeson and his linesman would have been pretty damning.

O’Hora couldn’t give out much about his red when he was high and didn’t give Jack Dollard an opportunity to defend himself. However, James Woodlock was complaining and picked up a yellow card as did his Tipperary selector Conor O’Brien for encroaching on the pitch.

I’ve written this before but team officials really need to stay off the field. Roscommon manager Davy Burke was on it as well on Saturday to remonstrate about a decision but where does it get them? Nowhere. Most certainly, Tipperary and Minogue were hard done by and the inexperience of the officials may have cost them but there has to be more control from management figures even if the stakes are high.

In contrast, for two of Gaelic football officiating’s elder statesmen, it was a relatively carefree afternoon on Sunday.

Both Joe McQuillan and David Coldrick are inching ever closer to the mandatory retirement age of 50 and when they do go, a wealth of experience will be lost. It will be important for the GAA to retain their knowledge.

In games where they weren’t too many flashpoints, it can be difficult to concentrate but they showed what has kept them at the forefront of refereeing all these years.

The only nuisance Coldrick had in the Kerry-Derry All-Ireland quarter-final was the ongoing battles off the ball between players. David Clifford and Chrissy McKaigue were booked as well as spoken to afterwards.

Clifford did react to McKaigue pulling out of him midway through the second half. Clifford is the most marked man in the game but he is well able to give it back and protect himself.

The only thing of note in the first Sunday quarter-final was the Louth corner-backs Donal McKenny and Dan Corcoran being yellow carded by McQuillan one after the other for what they did in the same passage of play. It sure was a rare one.

The biggest talking point from Saturday’s quarter-final double bill was Rory Fallon’s two yellow cards. The first one on Tiernan Kelly what we have regarded as an orange, a borderline red. He really didn’t give the Armagh man an opportunity to protect himself being so frontal and high with his foul and was lucky to stay on the field.

You can have no sympathy for him but as for the second yellow when he wasn’t aggressive and the ball was played for he was slightly hard done by. Overall though, Roscommon can’t bemoan losing him.

Like Coldrick and McQuillan, Martin McNally’s game was difficult to oversee because the football wasn’t really engaging but he fared reasonably well as did Seán Hurson in the later game.

Hurson imposed himself well in the Dublin-Galway clash without overdoing it. He booked Cormac Costello correctly for consistent fouling and Mick Fitzsimons was punished for an off-the-ball hit with another yellow card. That was on the back of an umpire or linesman’s word and that illustrated good teamwork.

Cillian McDaid also entered the book for apparently taunting an opponent after a score and Hurson has put himself in the frame for another All-Ireland final although he has strong challenges.

Finally, Liam Gordon and Thomas Walsh are to take charge of the Kilkenny-Clare and Limerick-Cork All-Ireland hurling semi-finals. Gordon probably knows his game on Saturday will be the more physical of the two. It’s time for Walsh to lay down a marker that he’s ready to take the next step and he is the right man for this game.

Unfortunately, other tales of hurling referee development are not so good. Kevin Jordan, I understand, was offered a linesman’s position for the Cork-Offaly All-Ireland preliminary quarter-final but declined it having only been given one game in the championship.

It’s pointless having 12 referees on the national panel. There are far too many and the least Jordan deserved was to be told he mightn’t be getting more than one game. The administrators should have enough bottle to tell referees where they stand but the silence is deafening. That isn’t mentoring.

Referees have been walking away and he might be another.

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