Three Errors In A Row And They Turned The Screw And In Fairness That’s What Good Teams Are Supposed To Do
In the aftermath of yesterday’s Lidl Ladies NFL semi final defeat to Cork, Dublin manager Mick Bohan called for the tackle in ladies football to be defined amid frustration at the interpretation and application of the rule in yesterday’s game.
In no way was Bohan using it as an excuse for Dublin’s one point loss to Cork in Nowlan Park and instead pinpointed three crucial errors in a row in the second half of extra time as the key defining moment in the game.
“Look obviously we are disappointed but massive effort from both teams out there today huge efforts there, I think they emptied themselves, we were in control but we made some silly mistakes and I just felt throughout the whatever was played 80 minutes or more that we just didn’t get the rub of the green today so it’s obviously frustrating, thats the way it goes sometimes, but look we couldn’t fault the effort of the players.
”I was disappointed in that second period of extra time when we went in we were two points up and essentially three errors in a row and they turned the screw and in fairness that’s what good teams are supposed to do, your supposed to turn the screw when that happens, so that end of it obviously was disappointing and there was probably on other days where we‘ve made better shot selections than we did today but that’s the nature of the game.”
Look You Would Want The Tackle Defined Because We Found It Particularly Harsh From A Defensive Point Of View
Bohan also expressed his frustration at how the tackle rule was applied in yesterday’s semi final and felt his side, particularly from a defensive point of view were harshly penalised.
“Look you would want the tackle defined because we found it particularly harsh from a defensive point of view, literally everything in the first half (for Cork) came from frees including the goal, so that’s obviously disappointing when that happens, I didn’t think we had committed the amount of fouls that we were getting penalised for and you know your constantly asking your players to suck it up but it does obviously get frustrating.”
Looking at the lopsided free count for both teams in the scoring zone it is understandable why both Bohan and his players were frustrated at how the tackle rule was applied in the game.
All of Corks first half scores came via free kicks including their goal, in that opening half Cork were awarded 9 frees in advanced positions which yielded 1-06, while Dublin on the other hand were awarded just a paltry 2 frees that were a full 23 minutes apart from each other.
That’s a huge disparity in the amount of frees awarded to both teams and doesn’t include frees awarded in other areas of the pitch which again heavily favoured Cork.
In total including extra time Cork were awarded 17 frees in the scoring zone and Dublin just 8, in a what was a fantastic game that was end to end its hard to fathom how Dublin were awarded such a low free count in forward positions compared to their opponents.
It’s always interpreted as sour grapes when the performance of a referee is questioned after a loss and some frown upon criticising match officials at all.
Everyone knows refereeing is a hard enough job and a thankless one and no one wants to be criticising them, but officials, particularly referees can, based on their performance, have a defining influence on the outcome of a game and thus their performance in games has to be up for scrutiny.
The lopsided free count wasn’t the only baffling and frustrating element in the officiating yesterday, four Cork players were given a final warning from the referee just halfway through the first half for consistent fouling or dissent, yet besides numerous further fouls from the same players none were shown the line.
The tackle on Niamh McEvoy for the penalty was both cynical and dangerous and deserving of at least a yellow card and ten minutes in the sin-bin, it also could easily have been red, neither card was issued.
Noelle Healy was deliberately taken out of it off the ball with another cynical and dangerous foul, again was at least a yellow card and although spotted by the referee nothing more than a stern word was issued, the same player blatantly dragged another Dublin player by the jersey to the ground later in the game and yet again no card was issued.
Also frustrating was the referees refusal to allow Dublin to take quick frees pulling them back on numerous occasions which allowed Cork get back into their defensive shape. Although he was content to allow Cork take the quick free, one of which led to their only goal of the game.
And the application of the advantage rule was another bone of contention, Cork were afforded plenty of it throughout, Dublin were not allowed the same luxury with at least two opportunities at creating goal chances in the latter stages of the second half halted because the advantage rule was not applied.
Besides though how the rules were applied differently to both teams yesterday Mick Bohan is right to call for the tackle in particular to be defined, especially if in its current state it’s too open to interpretation and applied differently depending on which referee is in charge.
Players work on perfecting the skill and art of tackling every week in training, they should not have to or be expected to constantly change how they tackle for the ball in games just because of which referee is officiating and his/her interpretation of the rule.