GAA concerned over black card reversals
The controversy over black cards shows no signs of relenting after two of three awarded in one Ulster game were reversed and another from the same province last weekend was also rescinded.
Referee Eddie Kinsella flashed three black cards – as well as six yellows – in a robust Ulster SFC quarter-final in which Monaghan pipped Tyrone by a point, but two of those black cards have now been overturned.
Such was Tyrone manager Mickey Harte's frustration that day that he did not do any media interviews afterwards. A Tyrone spokesman indicated that they were furious with the amount of time that Kinsella had added on, which they felt was too short.
They also insisted the black card shown to Darren McCurry in the 59th minute was wrong and have now proven it after taking McCurry's case to the Central Hearing's Committee on Wednesday, where it was cancelled.
Monaghan also had a black card rescinded from the same game and another lifted from last weekend's drawn Ulster semi-final.
Monaghan contested both black cards they received against Tyrone: Dermot Malone and Darren Hughes. The latter's was lifted but Malone's was upheld.
At the same hearing Monaghan also successfully contested the black card shown to Conor McManus by referee Joe McQuillan in their drawn Ulster semi-final with Armagh last weekend.
When a player is black-carded he is sent off for the remainder of the game and can be replaced. However, if a player accumulates three black cards he will receive a one-game suspension, so getting them overturned could have benefits further down the line.
Hughes had already received a black card in the dying minutes of Monaghan's Division 2 final victory in April, so a second would have left him in a precarious position.
The big worry for the GAA now is that the success of these appeals may create a greater appetite for others to contest contentious black cards in future.