Opinion

Penalties will affect mental health of players

By Alan Rodgers

LOSING Dungannon Eoghan Ruadh manager, Colm McGuinness, has launched a stinging broadside against Ulster GAA officials over the introduction of a penalty shoot-out for provincial finals.

The Tyrone champions lost out in the decider on Sunday to Naomh Éanna. The teams finished level at the end or normal time and extra time, prompting the holding of the penalty competition.

A goal from the very first puc eventually proved decisive in denying Dungannon, but the whole situation has now been slammed by the Eoghan Ruadh boss.

He has questioned the mental health impacts that could be caused by the drama of the ultimate conclusion to a high quality tie which saw the two goalkeepers produce a series of outstanding saves.

From a mental health point of view, if you had been the boy that missed that penalty how are you going to feel,” he asked.

I think it’s a shame on the Ulster Council that they’re forcing boys to take penalties to get the match out of the way to be honest.

Fortunately, it wasn’t just one penalty that made the difference, but if it had been just one, how would that fellow be.

They’re pumping on about mental health, but they should have a look at this.”

Wins over Lisbellaw and Keady in the previous rounds had brought Dungannon to the brink of a first ever Ulster Intermediate title. 

All looked to be going according to plan for them when they led by six points at half-time, but that advantage was hauled back by St Enda’s who eventually drew level near the end.

Extra time also failed to separate the teams, before the dreaded penalty shoot-out resulted in the Belfast side taking the title.