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Bosses united in consistency calls over black card

BY John Campbell

Fears expressed by Tyrone manager Mickey Harte that championship matches might now be refereed “differently” to Allianz League and Power NI Dr McKenna Cup games have now been taken on board by many other managers.

Harte, clearly perplexed by what he feels were the inconsistencies shown by Meath referee David Coldrick in Sunday’s drawn game against Down, is hoping that a more uniform interpretation of the black card and advantage rules in particular might ensue for the remainder of the Ulster series.

Coldrick is regarded as the best whistler in the country but by general consent did not have one of his best days at the office on Sunday.

Harte’s fears stem from the fact that, just as was the case in the second-half in particular on Sunday, the intensity of matches will be stepped up significantly from now until the end of the summer.

The Down v Tyrone replay and the meeting of Derry and Donegal on Sunday provide the opportunity for further forensic examination of referees’ performances and by the time these two games are completed the Ulster series will be one-third completed and county officials and managers will have a better idea of just where they stand in relation to the competence of the men in the middle.

National Referees Appointments Committee chairman Pat McEnaney has already gone on record as saying that referees will be “well capable” of handling any issues that arise in championship games but Sunday’s clash in Omagh did not provide any discernible proof of this.

Harte is hoping that Saturday’s replay will see a more consistent approach in terms of the black card and advantage rules.

“Is the advantage rule in or not? There were several instances in Sunday’s game where this could have been applied but it wasn’t,” he argued.

“If it’s in then play by it, that would be fine. If it’s not there and we are going to have again what we had on Sunday, then at least we know that.

“I wouldn’t complain if we were told that in advance. We don’t want games refereed differently in the championship.”

But while he is troubled by the inconsistencies in refereeing, Harte is strongly focused nevertheless on Saturday’s replay.

He added: “It’s an extra championship match and if you win it it’s a blessing but if you lose it’s no blessing at all.

“It certainly looked on Sunday as if we were capable of winning the game and you could never have anticipated that we would have lost sight of the scoreboard as much as we did but that’s what happened.

“That’s what happens sometimes. The other team gets momentum, they get a spring in their step and they get the scores required.”

Belfast Telegraph


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