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Opening shot: Donnelly black card shows its failings


Eoin Donnelly, left, was controversially black carded in Fermanagh’s league defeat to Galway

In this week’s column, John Hughes argues that the evidence against the black card seems to mount up with every passing week.

Hughes claims that the sanction is unfit for purpose and hits out Jerome Henry’s decision to flash a black card Eoin Donnelly’s direction in Fermanagh’s league defeat to Galway on Sunday.

Fermanagh opened up an early lead but the titanic midfielder’s presence was sorely felt as the Tribesmen gained a foothold in the middle in the second half. Galway eventually won out 1-13 to 0-10 and Hughes believes the black card has a disproportionate impact on ‘smaller’ counties.

“Up in the stand we were furiously looking up our smart phones. Aggressive language to an official, could that be it? From Eoin Donnelly? Hardly likely.

“It transpired after the event that the card was for some form of body check a couple of minutes earlier. Whatever it was, the challenge was so trivial and innocuous as to be utterly unremarkable to anyone watching the game.”

He added: “If you are Dublin, Kerry or Tyrone, black cards aren’t really something that keep you up at night.

“Drop down below that level and the black card is much more of a factor.”

The full column is available in store today or online here.



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