Clare manager Colm Collins has slammed the use of the new sin bin rule in the GAA after a questionable refereeing decision helped consign his team to a loss against Mayo this afternoon.
Clare met the Connacht side in a Division 2 play-off in Ennis, with the winners earning a place in top tier for 2022.
Mayo would ultimately run out winners on a scoreline of 2-22 to 2-18 after holding off a spirited comeback from the home side. However, Collins believes that the outcome could have been different if a refereeing decision went their way at a crucial juncture in the contest.
With Clare fighting back from an 11-point deficit, forward Gavin Cooney was pulled back by the already booked Enda Hession as he rushed towards goal in the 50th minute. With the foul being outside the penalty area, referee Niall Cullen opting against invoking the new sin bin rule or hand Hession a second yellow card.
The law, which was introduced for the 2021 season, states that referees should award a penalty if a team is denied a clear goal scoring opportunity due to a cynical piece of defending, with the guilty player also receiving a yellow card and spending ten minutes in the sin bin. In this case, Hession also would have been sent off.
Speaking after game, Collins slammed the use of the rule in Gaelic football:
That has to be the most ridiculous rule that was ever introduced, not just in football but any sport.
Every weekend you’ve got penalties and black cards for that exact thing and then the next game nothing happens.
He (Hession) benefitted from it, it was the cynical, clever thing to do. To eliminate cynicism, I don’t think they’re going to succeed with that rule.
I think that rule has to be kicked out because it’s pointless, absolutely pointless...
I’m not going to comment on a referee. I haven’t done it in eight years and I’m not going to start now.
This is a disappointing end to the league for Clare, who had defied expectations by fighting for promotion in Division 2.
They will now face Kerry in the Munster quarter-final in two weeks.