In a game where many would have expected them to win rather convincingly, Kerry were very lucky to emerge from their fixture against Cork with a victory yesterday.
The match in Páirc Uí Chaoimh was close throughout, coming right down to the wire. Jack O'Connor's side ultimately emerged victorious on a scoreline of 1-14 to 0-15, although some feel they benefitted from a controversial refereeing decision in the second half.
It came when Paul Geaney was hauled down near the Cork goal by Seán Powter, and while it was outside the box, referee David Gough showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
— The GAA (@officialgaa) June 3, 2023
Speaking after the game, Cork boss John Cleary labelled the decision as 'more than harsh':
How it's a penalty is beyond me. If it's a goalscoring opportunity, Dan O'Mahony is straight behind him.
It wasn’t to me a goalscoring opportunity. I’ve looked at the video, I couldn’t see it properly but when I looked at the video myself, it’s more than harsh.
In saying that, some feel that the rule that was used in awarding this penalty should be something we see more of.
Paul Flynn calls for regular use of rule that lead to Kerry penalty
Kerry were awarded the penalty on the back of a rule that was first introduced in 2021. It states that a team may be given a penalty if they are 'denied of a goal-scoring opportunity' by cynical play from the opposition.
While Cork have argued that there was cover in this situation, it seems clear that it was a goal-scoring opportunity.
Speaking on The Saturday Game last night, Paul Flynn said that far from this being a controversial decision, it is a rule we should see used more in the GAA. He gave an incident from Dublin's win over Kildare yesterday as a prime example.
Paul Flynn thinks it was the right decision to award Kerry a penalty for a denied goal-scoring opportunity against Cork but felt a similar offence was missed in Nowlan Park #SaturdayGame #GAA pic.twitter.com/mHjObopI5y
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) June 3, 2023
We just looked at the clip from the Cork game where Kerry got the penalty.
Here Niall Scully is brought down, Mick O'Grady brings him down. It was a deliberate pulldown outside the box.
We just want to see consistency, if we hadn't seen it in the Cork-Kerry game we might not have even looked at this. But the fact that you see it in one game and then straight after you see a very similar situation, if not a more a obvious one, and that's awarded.
The rules are there, you want to see them effectively (used).
There is always subjectivity in this, but they are carbon copy incidents and you want to see the same outcome.
It's difficult to argue with that.
While the black card has done quite a bit to curb cynical play in the game, further implementation of this rule would likely see an increase in the amount of goals scored at the highest level. With the quality of the product on offer in Gaelic football somewhat of a worry at the moment, the GAA should be jumping on that opportunity.