Home » OPINION: GAA scores own goal in final fiasco

OPINION: GAA scores own goal in final fiasco

by Jimmy Rhatigan

O’Loughlin Gaels selector Nigel Skehan got it right when he described the situation where his club was deprived of a good goal as ‘diabolical’.

He said his piece when interviewed on KCLR radio.

I would lean even stronger on the button of criticism by calling the nonsensical farce where the sliotar was carried over the St Thomas’s goal line for a ‘certain score’ as diabolical.

For an organization that may view its set-up as professional in all aspects of the game of hurling except in paying talented and heroic hurlers for their wonderful entertainment skills, the GAA mess bordered on shoddy admin shamateurism which should be bullet-proof.

On a turbulent day of biting cold, lashing rain and wild wind, the GAA let itself down in the worst possible way.

It failed to show respect to those who are the artisans and hod carriers of the hurling game of the future while perhaps concentrating too much on ensuring that not even a mouse could sneak in without paying digitally.

In other words the homework was done to ensure that administration generally, like having the pitch in pristine condition and that volunteers were at their posts thereby ensuring that the coffers would get the boost that was vital, deserved too.

But not being capable of deciphering when a ‘goal’ was not a ‘goal’ smacked of the kind of preparation by a conscientious soldier who brushed his or her uniform, polished his or her boots and then failed to tie his or her laces.

It is as simple as that.

Granted, Hawkeye was in good form when a possible point that oozed uncertainty amongst umpires was decided by a confident ‘níl’ or ‘tá’ decision.

But when it came to a possible match-changing decision, deciding whether or not a ‘goal’ was a ‘goal’ or was not, there was organized chaos and regardless of who likes it or not, it must be said; it also ended in a brutal injustice.

The world and its mother could see that a defender had fallen over the line, dragging the sliotar with him.

What ensued resembled a scene from the Keystone Kops or Laurel and Hardy. 

Yes it was funny in a crazy way too but certainly not for O’Loughlin Gaels players, mentors and hordes of devoted club supporters.

Hawkeye had paid deserved attention to possible points that caused uncertainty but the only goal of the afternoon, a legitimate score, proved to be the elephant in the room.

What happened?

Umpires were alert but human error meant that they missed out on what really happened. In fairness, they should not shoulder the blame as they are not asked to be judge and jury on whether a point is a score or a wide.

Hawkeye is your only man or woman in the latter department.

The referee seemed to place his trust in the umpires and without any real fuss the goal was not given.

Ultimately, it is those on the ladder of power in the GAA, an organization that we must acknowledge, does brilliant work for Gaelic Games, should be answering the awkward questions.

Was it a case of fail to prepare; prepare to fail?

O’Loughlin Gaels GAA Club was not the only loser. The GAA certainly had egg on its face. 

No one spotted the fly in the ointment and so a game that was exciting entertainment despite the fuss that Storm Isha kicked up was thrown into utter confusion.

On an occasion that was shrouded in a no goal controversy that should have been handled like a storm in a tea cup is now a festering sore that someone must come up with a cure for. 

You can ask O’Loughlin Gaels supporters, the pain is a belly-acher and may take years to cure.

In the meantime perhaps it would be wise to brace Hawkeye for any possible goal line controversies.

Granted, the horse has bolted, but the stable door is still ajar. 

Hopefully someone will have the balls to slam it closed.

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