‘There could be six, seven penalties next weekend’ – Galvin and Cunningham unhappy with new cynicism rule

BOTH MICK GALVIN and Anthony Cunningham voiced their displeasure at the new rule which saw Dublin awarded two penalties during their Allianz Football League round 1 win over Roscommon today. 

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The Dubs had three spot-kicks in total with the third was awarded for a Niall Daly foot block on Brian Fenton inside the large parallelogram in the 79th minute.

Brian Stack’s 18th minute trip on Paddy Small and Fergal Lennon’s pull down on Dara Mullin after 39 minutes were both contentious in that they took place outside the rectangle.

#ROSvDUB 39 nóim

Ros Comáin 0-09
Áth Cliath 1-12

Cárta Dubh bronnta ar Fergal Lennon, Ros Comáin 😱😱

The post denies the Dubs their second goal as the Rossies still trail by 6 👀🏐@AllianzIreland @GAA_BEO #AllianzLeagues #GAA #GAABEO

BEO/LIVE AR @TG4TV pic.twitter.com/CcurQrNa8y

— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) May 16, 2021

The new rule introduced to Gaelic football in 2021 sees a penalty awarded for a cynical foul “on an attacking player with a goal-scoring opportunity” that takes place inside the 20m line or the semi-circle. A black card and 10-minute sin-bin is also applied to the offender. 

Roscommon were forced to play 20 minutes with 14 men after Stack and Lennon were sin-binned in either half, making their task against the All-Ireland champions even more difficult. 

“I can’t give out about the referee but I can give out about the guys who made that rule,” said manager Cunningham in his post-match interview. “I don’t think it was needed in the game. I think the rules committee is trigger happy to be changing the rules every year.

“I don’t think there was a need in the game. It was harsh as well. The rule is if you have no players back but I definitely think we did in two instances. Look, it is unfair. It is messing around with the game.

“I am also reliably told that there isn’t a top class referee on the rules committee, which is startling, and certainly nobody in inter-county coaching asked. We weren’t certainly asked.

“It’s wrong. It’s wrong. What do you expect the referee to do? They are the rules.

“That would be my view of course, but on two occasions I thought there was plenty of players back and I don’t think that rule, it possibly could be in hurling but not in football.

“I don’t think the reason for those two penalties there today.”

Roscommon goalkeeping coach Dara Brun, selector Mark Dowd and manager Anthony Cunningham.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Cunningham stressed his issue wasn’t with the referee, more so the ruling which is putting them under more pressure.

“It’s very unfair on the referees. I am not giving out about Derek (O’Mahoney), but it’s messing with the game and I didn’t think that the game needed that.

“Well, I’ll answer that slightly differently. It’s extremely hard when you’re live in play to know…you have to decide is he the last man back. If there’s another player running side by side him, or at an angle or he could cut out a score or made a block, how is a referee at that speed of a game going to decide that? It’s really, really hard.”

The Galway native is hopeful the ruling will get binned before the championship.

“I think they’ll reassess it. I hope they do. I haven’t seen the rest of the games apart from yesterday. It’s going to cause – if this continues – a lot more debate.”

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Dublin’s interim manager Mick Galvin with backroom staff Brian O’Regan and Darren Daly.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Galvin, standing in for his first game as Dublin boss in place of the suspended Dessie Farrell, echoed those sentiments.

“We definitely benefited today,” he said. “If that’s the case there could be six, seven penalties next weekend in Thurles so I’m not sure. Straight off I wouldn’t be a fan of it but it worked in our favour today and so we can’t have any complaints.

“Again, I didn’t really get to see them all so I don’t know if there was a defender there or the possibility for a defender to get back so I’ll have to have a look at them again but it is going to be very hard to police, to be honest.

“They have a tough job as it is and that is just making it very hard for them. Anthony Cunningham certainly wasn’t happy about being on the wrong end of them today and I can feel sorry for him. It’s a forwards’ game now. Once you get the ball and stick it under your arm you go direct at goal but I’m sure teams will come up with a way to combat it.

“It’s very direct and rewards direct play so we’ll just have to see if all the rest police it the same way. Today the ref made his mind up early, if he deemed it to be the last man back he was giving a penalty and a black card.

“We were on the good end of it today but that could change next week and we could put a different slant on it.”

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