herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Enjoyable to see ref letting the game flow

•In the lead-up to last Sunday's All-Ireland Hurling final, team management and supporters of the contestants expected a raw encounter. Indeed, such was the expectation of what is euphemistically called 'hip-to-hip' hurling, they pleaded with the referee, in advance of the throw-in, to let the game flow.

•Referee Brian Gavin did not disappoint them. He threw the ball in at 3.30pm last Sunday and more or less kept his whistle in his pocket for the remainder of the match.

•In all, he whistled for 24 fouls and issued one yellow card. If he had decided to apply a reasonable number of the rules of the game, he could have doubled that number. But when a blatant trip is not even penalised with the mandatory yellow card, you begin to realise that a different set of standards apply to the ancient game than that of its close cousin, Gaelic football.

•I imagine most of you are aware the match officials in both codes whistle their games to an altogether different tune. It must infuriate the football referees when they witness the type of incidents that go unpunished and without comment or investigation in hurling.

•The hurling final was, of course, a fantastic game but many viewers will always associate it with the day the referee got the wallop on the nose. Indeed he did! A high hurl, swung by the great Tommy Walsh hit the Offaly whistler.

•Afterwards, in an interview on RTE, he stated: "If I had seen who had done it, he was in trouble." This can only mean one thing -- he did not see who had done it! Fair enough.

•But that also means he did not adjudicate on the matter and so, the CCCC can take an interest. Do you think they will?

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