Kilkenny selector and IT Carlow manager DJ Carey has shared his frustrations over the use of the advantage rule in hurling, describing it as “terrible.”
IT Carlow advanced to their second-ever final in the Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup on Saturday following a 5-14 to 0-15 win over Mary Immaculate College. Cathal Dunbar (2), Stephen Bergin, Liam Blanchfield and Chris Nolan all hit the net to bring their goal tally to 14 for the tournament.
However, the side conceded a notable number of frees with Mary I’s Cathal Bourke registering nine points from placed balls.
When asked about IT Carlow’s free count after the game, Carey lamented the “easy frees” doled out in the game by Wicklow referee, John Keenan.
“At the end of the day, we’re very frustrated and I think as hurling people, it’s very frustrating the way the game is going,” said Carey.
“There seems to be an awful lot of very easy frees and I’m not saying that they don’t go our way.”
“I think the game is going in such a way that now if you run at a defence and some sort of half-tackle goes in, it’s a free.
“I really disagree with the advantage rule. I think it’s an absolutely terrible rule that’s in the game.
“If there’s an advantage given for nothing, the play is brought back within five seconds, when the ball could at the other end of the field. I just find it very frustrating.
“Today we had a guy went down, he allowed the advantage, he went back and booked the player and the ball was gone wide. I don’t understand where there’s an advantage. I just don’t understand the absolute inconsistency.
“If you ask a referee what they’re doing, they tell you where to go. I think as a manager, there should be respect shown towards managers. Whether that’s me or Jamie Wall or Brian Cody or Liam Sheedy or whoever. There should be respect shown towards managers. To ask what is actually going on.”
Carey and IT Carlow put the haunting memories of their 2017 final defeat to Mary to bed on Saturday but now face into a tough task against reigning champions and tournament favourites UCC on Wednesday evening.
Though they will go into the Fitzgibbon Cup final as underdogs, Carey is relishing the challenge of facing one of the best teams in the competition.
“It is and from our point of view, we were beaten three years ago by Mary I in the final. Two years ago we were beaten by UL, who went on to win it. Last year by UCC in the quarter-final, who went on and won it.
“We’ve been beaten in very tight games over that period of time. The Mary I one was convincing. At the end of the day, you want to be in a final. Finals are there to be won.”
IT Carlow face a nervous wait over the fitness of star forward Seamus Casey who appeared to suffer an ankle injury in the late stages of the semi-final and Carey isn’t confident of his availability with the short turnaround.
“We lost Seamus Casey to what looks like a pretty bad ankle injury. We hope he’ll be alright, we don’t know. We’ve already lost Niall Brassil to a hamstring injury last weekend.
“It’s a four-day turnaround, but when we played in the final three years ago, it was a one-day turnaround and we only barely got lads on the field, so we’ll take the four days!”
Electric Ireland’s Sigerson, Fitzgibbon and Higher Education Championship campaign, FirstClassRivals, showcases the unique trait of these historic GAA competitions that sees unexpected alliances form when fierce county rivals put aside their differences to play together, challenge together, and win together.
Electric Ireland is proud to support the Higher Education Championships and will live stream a selection of Fitzgibbon and Sigerson Cup games. Watch the games and follow the Championship at www.electricireland.ie/hec and be a part of the conversation on social media using the hashtag, #FirstClassRivals or visit @ElectricIreland on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.