Galway ran out comfortable winners in their Allianz National Football League game against Tyrone in Tuam this afternoon, but the result was heavily influenced by a the visiting team having two players sent off over the course of the 70 minutes.
There was little debate about the dismissal of Frank Burns in the second half after two yellow cards, but some people have been split over the straight red given to Kieran McGeary in the opening period.
The Tyrone man attempted to shoulder the ball carrier, but mistimed the challenge and caught him with a heavy blow into the jaw. Referee Conor Lane showed little hesitation in showing him the red card, much to McGeary's frustration.
— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) February 23, 2020
It looked a very poor challenge.
Despite this, some claimed there was no way McGeary should have received his marching orders for the 'shoulder':
First red card against Tyrone v harsh. Mcgeary nailed Galway man with a fair shoulder. Never lifted his arm or elbow. Tyrone we’re struggling already but that put a big nail in them #AllianzLeagues
— Anthony Moyles (@moylesiea) February 23, 2020
Wow even as a Galway man, that red card for Tyrone was disgraceful, not out of control and attempted a fair hit. Ref sent him off on the result not the action, Conor Lane always makes himself a talking point #GAABEO #galway #tyrone
— Conrad Clancy (@con_clancy) February 23, 2020
Red card Kieran McGeary. The no shouldering rule must've passed congress under the radar #gaa
— Tyrone Tribulations (@Gombeen1) February 23, 2020
Mistimed shoulders resulting in red cards is a blight on gaelic football. Genuinely think there was no attempt to injure, looked a proper attempt to give a fair shoulder by Kieran McGeary.
— Chris Traynor (@PerformTraynor) February 23, 2020
However, others said there was no doubt that the decision to send him off was a correct one.
Ah stop, an elbow to the head is not a red? And a 50/50 ball by definition is if the ball is there to be won between two players, the Galway player clearly has the ball in his possession and elbowed in the head by the Tyrone prop
— Gerry Sutton (@gezzball) February 23, 2020
It was one of the most blatant red cards you could ever see. Shoulder to head. Tyrone went two men down when already losing by a cricket score
— Kevin Fox (@KingKev1993) February 23, 2020
Did you post the wrong clip? This one has the Tyrone player hitting the galway player with a shoulder to the jaw, which got him the red card he deserved.
— Ed Freeman (@EdFreeman9) February 23, 2020
Hard to call a tackle like that , don't think the tyrone lad meant to catch him on the jaw, but could have been so much worse so a red is probably fair , but at same time unlucky on the guy getting it !
— dull boy (@olivermurphy4) February 23, 2020
While some may argue that McGeary did not intend to make contact in such an aggressive manner, that isn't really the point.
There is no doubt that he endangered his opponent via his own recklessness. With the GAA attempting to cut out any potentially dangerous high tackles, this one is a red card 100 per cent of the time, regardless of intent.