Was it harsh? Was it deserved?
The Laois hurlers lost 2-25 to 1-18 to Tipperary in the All Ireland SHC quarter-final this afternoon in Croke Park and while their season comes to an end – it was an incredibly brave performance that has drawn plaudits across the hurling world.
Laois only trailed by four points at the break, 2-11 to 1-10, and were roared on by a massive Laois support in the attendance of over 44,000.
But it was the sending off of wing-forward Aaron Dunphy in the 38th minute that is one of the game’s big talking points.
The Borris-Kilcotton man, who is only 21 this year, has been in incredible form over the past couple of weeks – scoring 1-4 against Westmeath in the Joe McDonagh Cup final, 1-2 last week against Dublin and hit two points from play in the first half today.
He was given a straight red card by Cork referee Colm Lyons following consultation with linesman Johnny Murphy from Limerick – after he struck out at experienced Tipperary defender Pauric Maher.
Dunphy struck back at Maher when he was being held on to and caught the Thurles Sarsfields man on the leg.
After first booking Willie Dunphy for a different incident (much to the Clough-Ballacolla man’s bemusement), he then sent off Dunphy.
RTE co-commentator, former Cork and Limerick manager Donal O’Grady, had no issue with the red while Anthony Daly in the studio said “you can’t slap back like that”.
Yet commentary on Twitter from former Offaly great Joe Dooley and Irish Independent journalist Michael Verney viewed it differently.
What do you think?
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) July 14, 2019
The Laois Tipp game is all about the referee. Colm Lyons is completely out of his depth. #tippvlaois
— Joe Dooley (@DooleyJoe) July 14, 2019
Shocking sending off, if that’s the way the game is going and what constitutes a red card nowadays then I’d fear for the future of the game!
— Michael Verney (@mlverney) July 14, 2019