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Damian Barton Is Surprisingly Sanguine And Philosophical About Late Tipp Cynicism

Damian Barton Is Surprisingly Sanguine And Philosophical About Late Tipp Cynicism
By Conor Neville
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In the closing stages of the Tipperary-Derry qualifier in Breffni Park, the impotence of the black card in curbing cynical play was highlighted once more.

Undisguised, last-ditch rugby tackling was always a problem that intensified in the final few minutes of matches as the winning team would haul down those chasing the game knowing that the small price was one worth paying.

Since the introduction of the black card, the penalty is rather more stringent. The guilty player does at least have to trot off the field for the final few minutes, albeit usually being replaced by a sub. But still it is a penalty that players believe is worth paying. And it is worth paying.

Kevin O'Halloran frankly decided to pull down Brendan Rodgers as Derry made a desperate gallop up the field in the hope of manufacturing an injury-time equaliser. It was a baldly cynical tackle of the type that the black card was introduced to curb.

Derry manager Damien Barton, who doesn't like talking to RTE, told the Irish News that he had little issue with O'Halloran himself.


O'Halloran's cynicism was not entirely understandable, it would have been nearly ridiculous had not he not opted to bring Rodgers down.

Indeed, Barton said he'd have done the same had he been in that position.


And he added that had one of his players failed to haul down a player in a similar situation he'd have been upset. It was a frank acceptance of the reality of the game.


I think that the ball should be moved forward 10 yards because we would have kicked the ball over the bar (and equalised).

There has to be a greater penalty. I would have done the same thing (as O’Halloran) and, if one of my boys had not done that, I would have been disappointed as well. If there had been a 10-yard penalty, then I think Mark (Lynch) may have had a chance to give us something.

It is a issue for the rule-makers to tweak the rule in such a way that hauling a player down is not advantageous to them.

It's not about putting your trust in the corinthian spirit of players, hoping that out of an old-fashioned sense of fair play might lead them to allow their opponents one last chance.


Read more: Kneejerk: Our Controversial Columnist Lets Loose On The Marty Squad - And Thurles


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