Hurling

Limerick Selector Donal O'Grady Calls For Black Card In Hurling

Limerick Selector Donal O'Grady Calls For Black Card In Hurling

Donal O'Grady's thoughts on the need to punish cynical fouling in hurling have changed since he retired.

O'Grady, who called time on his inter-county career in 2016, is now part of the Limerick backroom team. He joined John Kiely's setup last September as a replacement for Brian Geary.

There have been several conspicuous cynical fouls during this year's championship. Dublin's Danny Sutcliffe deliberately tripped Laois' Paddy Purcell during their Leinster quarter-final; Kilkenny's Huw Lawlor stopped Galway's Niall Burke from having a goal scoring opportunity during the Leinster final by holding back his hurley; Galway's Adrian Tuohey rugby tackled Tipp's Seamus Callanan during their All-Ireland quarter-final.

O'Grady himself was responsible for a notorious trip during the 2014 All-Ireland semi-final as Kilkenny's Richie Power raced through on goal.

"I had to do the same thing that day," he said during Limerick's pre All-Ireland final press night last week.

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"The match would have been over. It was actually a miracle he didn’t meet the ball head on anyway... whenever I got back. I actually ran around the goals, James McGrath came in to the umpire and I ran around the goals and tried to hide from him because I knew I was gone because I had the yellow just got about five minutes before it."

Kilkenny were ahead by a point at the time with five minutes left on the clock. Somehow, McGrath did not deem the foul worthy of a second yellow card.

As recently as February, a motion to introduce the black card to hurling saw 82 per cent vote against it at congress. O'Grady thought five years ago that a disciplinary measure was not required but now feels that a punishment - like 10 minutes in the sin bin for a cynical foul in football - needs to be imported to hurling.

"The black card is a funny one," said O'Grady.

"I’ve seen some real cynical fouling this year. It’s been mixed, one standing out for me would be Huw Lawlor’s one. There’s been a lot.

"Like the black card is probably... I think it would affect a hurling team more than a football team, if that makes sense. Taking a full-back out of a hurling team is a real, real hole to leave. It’s a tough place to play as it is.

"Whether it’s 10 minutes in a sin bin or something I’d possibly be leaning towards [that] but something will have to be done.

"I think something will have to be done because it’s too easy, in a one-on-one situation you can bring someone down now and the punishment... the reward for the attacker is a point whereas there was probably a 90/95% chance of a goal."

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PJ Browne
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