Friday 19 December 2014

There's nothing brave or manly about striking someone with your hurl

Colm Parkinson

Published 16/07/2014 | 02:30

Referee Johnny Ryan shows a straight red card to Clare's Brendan Bugler after his offence against Liam Og McGovern of Wexford in Saturday's thrilling qualifier replay. Photo: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Referee Johnny Ryan shows a straight red card to Clare's Brendan Bugler after his offence against Liam Og McGovern of Wexford in Saturday's thrilling qualifier replay. Photo: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Johnny Ryan got the two red cards in Saturday's thrilling qualifier replay between Clare and Wexford right. There was no doubt both were red, for completely different offences. Jack Browne was a run-of-the-mill sending-off for persistent fouling, but Brendan Bugler's was a more serious offence.

Liam Og McGovern's hands were in the air, so he was completely open and not expecting a hurl to be driven into his stomach. He could have been seriously hurt.

Now I don't want to single Bugler out, because unfortunately nasty offences like this one are commonplace in hurling, especially at club level.

My problem is the blasé attitude of 'hurling people' and pundits towards the challenge.

Michael Duignan agreed it was a sending-off in his assessment at half-time but didn't overly criticise the strike: "Brendan Bugler just let in the handle of the hurl there ... it was a very bad belt of it."

Duignan then went on to criticise the performance of the referee in the first half. There was no further mention of the incident.

I stayed up on Sunday night for 'The Sunday Game' and again I was shocked that the incident was completely trivialised by Donal Og Cusack and Eddie Brennan.

Brennan actually attempted to justify the strike by saying: "When you look at it there, Liam Og McGovern was doing a lot of hanging out of Brendan Bugler. . . bit of frustration, he's being mauled asunder there."

Yeah, Eddie, sure it was Liam Og's fault!

Pushed further by Des Cahill on whether it was a red card, Brennan continued his nonsense: "Yeah you'd have to say. . . you'd love to say different, he doesn't strike with huge force, it's more frustration than anything else."

COMPLIMENT

Cyril Farrell was on analysis duty with Duignan on Saturday. He was talking about Wexford free-taker Jack Guiney and made reference to his father, who also played for Wexford, saying: "He played wing-back, he'd cut you in two." Unfortunately, this was meant as a quasi-compliment!

When are these attitudes going to change? Striking with the hurl is unacceptable at any time. There is nothing brave or manly about it. Incidents like Bugler's should be condemned by 'hurling people' and hurling pundits, and not accepted as part of the game.

Irish Independent

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