Many Former Hurlers At The End Of Their Tether After Latest Sin-Bin Controversy

Many Former Hurlers At The End Of Their Tether After Latest Sin-Bin Controversy

No sport loves messing with its rules more than the GAA. It seems that every years brings with it a number of new rules on either a trial or permanent basis.

Gaelic football has certainly borne the brunt of that more so, but hurling has had a couple of major changes for 2021.

Not only has the new interpretation of the advantage rule often resulted in some very stop-start games, but the sin-bin law has also caused plenty of controversy in recent weeks.

It is clear that something did need to be done to combat cynical play in hurling, with more incidents of clear foul play emerging over the last few years.

The same black card that has long been used in Gaelic football was suggested, but in the end of the sin-bin/penalty rule was introduced instead.

Essentially, a cynical foul that denies a goalscoring opportunity will now result in penalty being awarded to the opposition, as well as a ten minute sin-binning for the offending player.

It is an okay rule in principle, but the application of it has often left something to be desired. That is largely down to the fact that it is left down to interpretation of the referee to decide when it should be applied.


We were provided with the perfect example this afternoon, with James Owens believing this to be a qualifying offence despite the foul taking place near the sideline and a number of Clare players being in a covering position.

Unsurprisingly, many associated with sport were not happy to see the rule used in such a manner.

In fact, many former inter-county hurlers seemed very frustrated because of it.

Ex-Limerick star Shane Dowling was amongst that bunch.


As was Clare man Brendan Bugler.


The incident mentioned above came in last night's Munster SHC semi-final between Cork and Limerick, where Cork were awarded another controversial penalty after Conor Cahalane was fouled by Peter Casey.

Referee Paul O’Dwyer adjudged it to be a sin-bin offence a decision many didi not agree with. Nicky Quaid would go on to save Patrick Horgan's resulting penalty.

Unlike in last night's game, Clare's sin-binning would have a huge impact on the result. They were outscored by 2-4 to 0-2 while Aidan McCarthy was off the pitch, turning a three-point advantage into a five-point deficit. They would ultimately lose by four points.

Another former Clare player, Colin Ryan, also couldn't believe his county had been punished for the offence.


Kilkenny native Paul Murphy said the game was ruined by the decision, something Galway's James Skehill agreed with.


Even Limerick man Seán Tobin felt sorry for Clare.


In all, Jackie Tyrrell probably summed it up best with this simple tweet.

Hopefully we won't be forced to have this debate too often over the remainder of the summer.

SEE ALSO: Daly & Tyrrell Sum Up Farcical Nature Of Shocking Clare-Tipp Sin-Bin Decision

Gary Connaughton

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