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Why The Weekend Criticism Of Podge Collins Was Harsh And Unwarranted

Why The Weekend Criticism Of Podge Collins Was Harsh And Unwarranted
By PJ Browne
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On the weekend's Sunday Game, Pat Spillane and Dermot Earley analysed the 'card confusion' caused by Padraig Hughes' officiating of Clare's qualifier win against Roscommon.

Clare finished the game with 14 players and Roscommon 13. There was a lack of consistency with Hughes' decisions. Clare's Cathal O'Connor was shown a red card for a high tackle. Later in the game, for a virtually identical offence, a yellow card was given.

One of those sent-off for Roscommon was Sean Mullooly. In a seven-minute spell in the early second half, Mullooly picked up two yellow cards.


The second came when the Roscommon player clipped Podge Collins as the dual star hared down the wing towards the ball. Harsh the yellow card may have been but also harsh was the criticism of Podge Collins. On the Sunday Game, Pat Spillane accused Collins of exaggerating the contact from the Roscommon fullback.

Contact was minimal. It was the ankles. I think, while we accused Aidan O'Shea of cheating last week, which was perhaps unfair, I felt Podge made a meal of it.

Spillane was not the only one to denounce Collins for diving. Mayo fans, in particular, wondered if he would receive the same level of criticism which was sent Aidan O'Shea's way following his side's game against Fermanagh.

What all this overlooks is that Podge Collins did not dive. Minimal the contact from Mullooly certainly was but Collins - who had entered the game as a substitute just two minutes earlier - was moving at pace and so any collision, however inconsequential in appearance, was likely to send the 24-year-old to the ground. Also, as Pat Spillane highlighted, he may have been caught by Mullooly's trailing leg.


Following contact, Collins lay on the ground holding his head. This was, perhaps, why he was accused of 'making a meal of it'. Mullooly did not make contact with Collins' head. What the Clare player's head did make contact with though was the ground. After colliding with Mullooly, he hit the deck - hard. His head snapped towards the Pearse Stadium turf.

Collins' pain was real - not feigned. Mullooly being sent-off was not the result of 'know how' but simply two players accidentally colliding and a somewhat harsh decision from the referee.

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