Why the GAA need a fair way to decide a drawn county final 6 months ago

Why the GAA need a fair way to decide a drawn county final

"I think Na Fianna, deserved a replay in that match."

There were two games on last weekend, which both argue for, and against, the idea of having extra time after a drawn county final, or just replaying the game later.

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Na Fianna looked set to win their first ever Dublin senior hurling title until Ronan Hayes from Kilmacud Crokes blasted in a goal right at the death to equalise.

With the game at a draw, it went to extra time and the Crokes completely took over, using all of the momentum they had gotten from the late goal, eventually winning comfortably.

In Offaly's football championship, it was a polar opposite situation in the fact that it was a replayed final from their drawn game two weeks ago, when Niall McNamee's last minute goal equalised at the death, but there was no extra time.

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In the replayed game, Tullamore were able to recover from the blow and ended up comfortable winners in the end.

Speaking on the GAA Hour, Colm Parkinson raises the question about whether or not extra time is unfair in these situations, and perhaps a replay should always be the solution.

"I was thinking that this extra time was a bit cruel, I understand that we want to run off a county championship pretty quickly, and I do agree that replays in quarter-finals and semi-finals are too much, but a lot of finals are going to extra time.

"I think Na Fianna deserved a replay in that match because they were gone after extra-time, the way it turned out.

"I was thinking that Tullamore beat Rhode yesterday in the replay, in the first game Niall McNamee gets a goal at the end to equalise and if there was extra time in that game, you would say that Rhode would have their tales up and probably go on and win this.

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"Do you think for counties that we should just standardise this for a final? I know some players psychologically want the final ended that day.

"Like, what's the fairest way for a county final, a replay or extra time?"

I was also on the show, but I took a different stance, believing that extra time can be harsh, but it's still fair because it's still in both teams hands.

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"I have to disagree, I'm a fan of extra time, it's a big ask, and I understand that completely, and with the Ronan Hayes situation, the pendulum of momentum started to swing towards Kilmacud Crokes, but I wouldn't say that, that's unfair that that happened.

"You have to look at it harshly, from a neutral point of view you want to see Na Fianna do it because it would have been their first, but if they concede a goal that late in the game, it's still on them.

"We shouldn't reward them with an extra two weeks to lick their wounds and come again, they just have to deal with the consequences there and then.

"Dungannon Clarkes wouldn't have finished a game last year if we had replays instead of extra time, because they went to extra time in every game.

"You have to put it down to preparation as well, like teams know beforehand that there is extra time, you have to be preparing for that whether it's to do with your conditioning, or just psychologically, getting your head around the possibility of it, so it doesn't catch you cold.

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"When soccer teams are preparing for finals, or international tournaments, they practise penalties and they don't go into the game looking for it to go to penalties, but they know the possibility is there, and they prepare for that.

"Extra time is harsh, but I still think it's the fairer of the two."

Parkinson raises the point that maybe county finals should be replayed, but extra time is still in place for other rounds of the championship.

"I'm not arguing for an abolishment of extra time, I just think in finals, maybe I'm being influenced a little bit by feeling bad for Na Fianna, because they were so good in that game.

"But generally, the smash and grab team towards the end, they have the momentum at the end for extra time, I just think we should have a policy of regardless of who comes back late, even if it is Na Fianna, the policy is a replay.

"The county board get an extra payday I suppose, and maybe it can be a bit frustrating for players who do want it on the day, but most counties have the replay policy."

You can listen to the full discussion on The GAA Hour here.