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Dublin: 2°C Sunday 17 January 2021
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'Maybe I shouldn't have given Sean Cavanagh man-of-the-match' - Martin Carney

The commentator also said that Joe Brolly had “done a great service” to the GAA.

Carney said Brolly had
Carney said Brolly had "done a great service to the GAA".

RTÉ COMMENTATOR MARTIN Carney has admitted he may not have given Sean Cavanagh the man-of-the-match award “with the benefit of hindsight”.

Carney was criticised by RTÉ pundit Joe Brolly for making the decision, after a controversial foul from Cavanagh had a considerable impact on the last weekend’s game between Tyrone and Monaghan.

However, speaking on the Today FM’s Last Word this evening, he said that Joe Brolly did not initially object to the decision.

“I would have communicated that with Joe [and the rest of The Sunday Game team prior to the announcement], and I didn’t think anyone had a problem with that.”

Carney said that aside from the controversial incident, Cavanagh had produced a “match-winning performance”.

“You don’t know how the game would have evolved after,” he added. “Though there’s a chance Monaghan would have won it.”

In addition, when it was put to Carney that he could have made a stand by refusing to select the player as Man of the Match, he responded:

“On reflection, that is a fair point to make. But I was on the spot at the time. With the benefit of hindsight, maybe I should have factored that in.”

Nevertheless, he also pointed out that he would have very few options if he decided to rule out everyone who committed a cynical foul in the game from receiving the honour. He also defended Brolly from the criticism he has since received for his comments, saying:

“I think he’s done a great service to the game. It will increase the attitude to change and make the transition to the black card easier.”

“There’s more cynicism now than there was before.” he said. “I felt in 2002, Armagh winning was accompanied by a lot of negative play. I sensed that guys making a run were body-checked – and it has grown exponentially since then.”

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Paul Fennessy

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