PETER Canavan has warned of a controversy-filled summer after the first major refereeing talking point of this year’s Championship last Sunday in Omagh.
Mickey Harte was perplexed that David Coldrick dismissed Tyrone goalkeeper, Niall Morgan, on a black card for a foul on Jerome Johnston just after half-time, while Down’s Conor Maginn escaped similar censure after conceding a first-half penalty for a foul on Mark Donnelly.
The Tyrone boss was also critical of Coldrick’s application of the new advantage rule, claiming that the rules used by the Meath referee on Sunday “didn’t remotely resemble the rules we used in the National League.”
“That’s the start of it,” Canavan insisted. “Not often I disagree with Mickey and I would have to agree with him this time and you review it - it was an obvious pull down.
“There are two things about Tyrone’s first goal - where was the advantage rule? If he had played the advantage, Tyrone had a goal. There was a chance the penalty would be missed and if it was a deliberate pull-down, which I think most people think it was, then it should have been a black card.
“I have no qualms about Niall Morgan’s. I think that was a black card but it was something the referee missed and if Tyrone had lost that game yesterday, there is no question it would have had a major bearing so that’s the start of it.
“I have no doubt there will be a lot of controversial and similar incidents to that.”
Canavan pointed out that Coldrick had been appointed to the first high profile game of the year as the GAA’s “best man” hoping it would “pass without major controversy.”
“The fact it was a draw has maybe…not saved his skin but it was deflected from that a wee bit but I have no doubt there would have been more uproar about it had Tyrone lost that game yesterday because it would have been on the back of that decision.”