Wednesday 20 September 2017

'It was the obligatory depressing finale to every Gaelic football match' - Brolly rues McKernan black card

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

RTE GAA pundit Joe Brolly has once again lamented the application of the black card after Down midfielder Kevin McKernan was shown a black card by referee Conor Lane in the wanning moments of their Ulster quarter-final at Páirc Esler on Sunday.

With Down clinging on to a slender three-point lead, McKernan was dismissed after thwarting an Armagh attack as the Orchard County went in search of a late goal.

McKernan then celebrated his intervention by praising his gloves, but  as Brolly noted, a black card in the final minutes of competitive games has become a 'depressing finale' for Gaelic Football and that it is now expected of intercounty defenders in close matches.

"What happened in the second-half was that Down played with little or no adventure, with the strong breeze, they pulled everybody back and then they broke forward and managed to get enough scores to win," Brolly said on The Sunday Game.

"Of course, then we had the obligatory depressing finale to every Gaelic Football match now where a forward gets a metre inside the defence, and he's going for goal, and they're three points behind and he's pulled down.

"A heroic gesture by Kevin McKernan, he's just taken one for the team, and we're back to the situation about the inadequacy of the black card.

"We talk about it every week - goalscoring opportunity - red card and a penalty - the point of a punishment, whether it's in the civil law or in any sport, is that it's not worth it.

"But in this situation it is absolutely worth it and players will reconsider it, and only reconsider it, if there is a red card and a penalty.

"And as Tomás [Ó Sé] was saying to me, which is absolutely true now, if a defender doesn't do it, there's going to be question marks in the changing room."

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