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Peter Canavan: 'I was sceptical about the black card from the start'

The Tyrone legend saw his misgivings confirmed on Sunday in Omagh.

David Coldrick brandishes a black card to Niall Morgan on Sunday.
David Coldrick brandishes a black card to Niall Morgan on Sunday.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

PETER CANAVAN’S MISGIVINGS about the black card came to the fore on Sunday in Omagh.

The Tyrone legend believes his county’s draw with Down provided the proof that the new rule is ‘making the job of the referee more difficult’.

There was controversy over the manner in which David Coldrick cautioned Tyrone’s Niall Morgan for a foul on Jerome Johnston in the second-half but did not penalise Down’s Conor Maginn for a similar offence in the first-half.

“I was sceptical about the black card from the start because I felt it was making the job of the referee more difficult. Referees don’t need that at the minute and that’s the perfect example.

“(It’s) not often I disagree with Mickey and I would have to agree with him this time. I have no qualms about Niall Morgans’ black card. There are two things about Tyrone’s first goal – where was the advantage rule and if it was a deliberate pull down, then it should have been a black card.

“It was something the referee missed and if Tyrone had lost that game there is no question it would have had a major bearing especially because Conor Maginn had a big infleunce on the game after that. I have no doubt there will be a lot of controversial and similar incidents to that.”

Conor Maginn scores a goal Conor Maginn smashed home Down's third goal on Sunday. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

The fact that the game concluded in a draw did help to alleviate the fallout.

“It was the first high profile game of the year and they put out the best man (David Coldrick) that they had in the hope it would pass without major controversy,” said Canavan.

“The fact it was a draw has maybe – not saved his skin – but deflected from that a wee bit. I have no doubt there would have been more uproar about it had Tyrone lost that game yesterday. Dave Coldrick was the man they put up to talk about these rules but it is going to be difficult to implement them.

“This is a high profile game. You can imagine in club games there are a lot of referees who don’t believe in the idea of the black card to begin with. I know some referees have claimed they don’t even bring a black card with them.

“The black card you need it to be consistent and apoplied to the letter of the law at county games and already we have seen that is not the case.”

‘What’s going on with rules’ asks Mickey Harte after Down draw

Cavanagh rescues Tyrone to force draw with Down in five-goal Ulster opener

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Fintan O'Toole

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