Tyrone defender Ronan McNamee not a fan of 'advanced mark' rule

Ronan McNamee says the advanced mark rule makes it more difficult for defenders

TYRONE'S Ronan McNamee insists the experimental ‘advanced mark' rule is a “pain” and says it is hard enough to defend without making it more difficult.

Even though Tyrone profited from the attacking ‘mark' more than Dublin, the Tyrone full-back isn't a fan of it.

The Red Hands converted three ‘marks' to Dublin's one, with Cormac Costello spurning another.

“You just hear whistles going off left, right and centre,” McNamee said.

“It confuses you more than anything else, to be honest. Sure they'll throw another rule in next year and you'll have to adapt."

“It's a pain. As if the game is not hard enough to mark Mattie Donnelly or Cathal McShane without throwing a ‘mark' in and giving boys the chance to kick an easy score. The game was hard before [the ‘mark'] and it's harder now.”

Following their three-point win over Dublin on Saturday night, McNamee downplayed the significance of defeating the All-Ireland champions, their third loss in this NFL campaign.

“Obviously any day you come down to Dublin to play in Croke Park is something that you look forward to, but we're not going to read too much into it. It's March, but it's an invaluable two points nonetheless.

“It's just nice to get out and get a run-out in Croke Park against the pinnacle of football over the last lot of years,” he said.

“They've set the standard high. It's something you want to achieve yourself. People can say we needed to beat them, but it's not a case of we couldn't beat them, we knew in our heads - if we got our play right and got set up and just played our own game - we wouldn't be far away. We are as good as anybody on the day.”

McNamee, though, wasn't reading too much into Dublin's perceived dip in performance. They have now lost to Monaghan, Kerry and Tyrone and won't feature in this season's League final for the first time since Jim Gavin took over in 2013.

The Red Hands played the last 20 minutes with 14 men after Niall Sludden was dismissed on yellow and black card offences but still saw out the game in convincing fashion.

“Dublin are probably only getting their squad together now, but you can be damn sure come the end of the year they'll be there or thereabouts.

“Everybody strives to hit the heights they're at. They've set the bar ridiculously high for everybody else. They are a class act the way they play their football.

“They don't take half chances; they keep the ball, play it about until an opportunity comes up. Kerry and Monaghan have beaten them and now we've beaten them. I suppose it gives you a wee insight, that we could potentially beat them. But, like I say, it's March.”

Asked about the possible implications for the GAA of a ‘Brexit' deal with no backstop arrangement, McNamee commented: “I haven't thought much about it, to be honest. I'm sure we'll get over the border some way! I don't think anybody knows too much about it. They dived head-first into something that they didn't necessarily know anything about, but it's their mess. Let them sort it out. There are plenty of smart people that can work it out for themselves.

“It could potentially causes issues and hassle further down the line. Maybe they'll do flights from Belfast to Dublin!”

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access



Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: