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22nd May 2021

Tomás Ó Sé blasts “absolutely pathetic” exploitation of rule as Mayo hold off Westmeath

Lee Costello

Tomas O Se

Mayo 0-21  2-12 Westmeath

“The marks being taken are absolutely pathetic and totally taking the life out of the game”

Mayo beat a spirited Westmeath side by three points in a high scoring match but not everybody was impressed by what they say.

Kerry legend Tomás Ó Sé took to Twitter to express his feelings about the game and he didn’t hold back.

“Watching Westmeath and Mayo here. The marks being taken are absolutely pathetic and totally taking the life out of the game. Stop start bull . Whoever brought it in did the game absolutely no service.”

Those in favour of the mark argued that it would bring back the high fetching game but it seems to have had the opposite effect. Instead of glorious plucks from the clouds, the players are opting for safe kick-passes into the hands of forwards who don’t need to even catch as much as they just need to secure out.

Once it’s locked into their chest, the just have to stick their hand up in the air and there’s nothing further the defender can do as his marker is essential awarded a free kick for performing a very basic act of the game

The prime example of it was in the second half when Westmeath’s Ronan O’Toole opted for a kick-pass to full forward, John Heslin, that could have easily been achieved through a fist-pass. However, both O’Toole and Heslin raised their hands simultaneously to call for the mark, showing that they are being coached to take advantage of it.

This isn’t the fault of either team of course, who are only playing within the rules of the game, but the constant and unnecessary changes being made are having a serious impact on the game.

In the match Westmeath got of to a strong start, going into the break leading by one point. Mayo found their range however, in the second half and the dead-ball expertise of Cillian O’Connor and excellent scores from Paddy Durcan saw them get over the line.


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