Striking out for a re­view of rule book

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - THE TITLE -

I’M not go­ing to get into the Austin Glee­son af­fair again but I have to re-it­er­ate the point that it’s very, very harsh on Conor Glee­son to miss out on an All-Ire­land for a very mi­nor stand-alone in­ci­dent in­volv­ing Pa­trick Hor­gan in the semi-fi­nal against Cork.

It re­ally puts a spot­light on the role of the ref­eree – and the lines­man.

James Owens took al­most all of the flak, even though as ref­eree he didn’t wit­ness the in­ci­dent.

I saw it hap­pen­ing in real time out of the cor­ner of my eye. Pa­trick Hor­gan gave a lit­tle jab to Glee­son who gave him a lit­tle flick of the hurley in re­sponse. By the rule­book, it is ‘striking or at­tempt­ing to strike’.

To me, lines­man James McGrath, who was stand­ing be­side it, had no busi­ness in call­ing back the ref­eree. He in­formed Owens of striking by num­ber nine (Glee­son) and striking by num­ber 14 (Hor­gan).

If you ap­plied those rules to all in­ci­dents on the field, you’d hardly have any­one left. Other, far worse, chal­lenges went on dur­ing the game which didn’t merit more than a free or yel­low card.

It’s im­por­tant to say then, un­der the rules, it’s clear cut. My is­sue is with James McGrath. There is no need to iden­tify the play­ers in that in­stance.

Is the rule book wrong? Yes. It should be a yel­low card for mi­nor in­ci­dents, for such a mi­nor strike like that.

Pa­trick Hor­gan, too, didn’t de­serve to walk. The whole thing was com­pletely in the wrong. Let’s be clear: the dirty stroke in hurl­ing, I hate that.

With­out pan­ick­ing about it, we do need to look at the rules and make the nec­es­sary change.

RED: Ref Owens

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