Waterford overcame the dismissal of Conor Gleeson just after half-time to knock Galway out of the championship on a 1-30 to 3-20 scoreline on Saturday.
The decision was unusual in that the cornerback was sent off for an off-the-ball incident that occurred in the first half. After both sides emerged for the second half, referee Sean Stack spoke to the Nire-Fourmilewater clubman and sent him off.
Speaking on the Sunday Game, Dónal Óg Cusack said it was the correct call to show Gleeson red. However, for former Waterford manager Derek McGrath, this sort of incident has not been consistently penalised over the course of the championship.
Cusack: Joe Canning. Gleeson is obviously trying to get out and cover the defender. A lot of attackers try and impede the defender. You see Conor Whelan behind just off-camera, you often see a player stand in front to give his own attacker a bit of space. In terms of whether it is a red card or not, you can't strike a player like that.
McGrath: I would argue it is a flick at best. I would argue also rather than impeding Conor's run, Joe's flicks in front of him to stop the run. The hurley moves forward from Joe as well.
If there is consistency around the Aaron Gillane incident last week or the Shane Cooney one five, ten minutes later, they are yellow cards to be distributed evenly.
Cusack: Derek, two wrongs don't make a right. Aaron Gillane should have been sent off last week. That has no place in the game, no place in the game.
There is a huge difference between what Joe Canning did, we know he got his hurl up, but it is a red card. Whatever about the technicalities of it, even in the last few weeks being involved in the Sunday Game, sometimes we get too caught up in the technicalities. In terms of the spirit of the game, that has no place in our game.
McGrath: My argument is that there is absolutely no malicious intent with the strike, the flick there. I would call that a flick. I wouldn't say there is malicious, badness in that.
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) July 25, 2021
Eddie Brennan also felt it was not a red card.
The irony of Conor Gleesons red Seamus Flanagan got red for the exact same in the league on Conor Gleeson
We give out if refs aren’t consistent
IMO neither are red
Play acting is embarrassing
— Eddie Brennan (@NedzerB13) July 25, 2021