Dublin dominate Tyrone on a day of player silence
National Football League
DUBLIN gave themselves a fighting chance in their battle against relegation yesterday, on a day when players across the country kept their thoughts to themselves.
The Dubs travelled to Omagh to take on the All-Ireland champions with nil points on the board, but left with two after an utterly dominant first-half performance built the foundations for their first league victory of the year.
Dublin kicked 10 scores in succession in the first-half at Healy Park, with the likes of Brian Fenton, Ciarán Kilkenny and Cormac Costello beginning to show glimpses of form. And although the Red Hands battled hard to overturn that 0-11 to 0-2 half-time deficit, the dismissal of Pádraig Hampsey didn't do them any favours as they had to settle for a five-point defeat.
However, there were no rueful Red Hands or jumping Jacks on hand to react following yesterday afternoon's game as the players universally observed the Gaelic Players' Association's weekend ban on media interviews. The GPA announced the ban on Saturday in response to what they say is a delay in paying player expenses and it seemed that the result was the same at every league game over the weekend.
Announcing the temporary halt to interviews, GPA chief executive Tom Parsons said the majority of players had not received expenses from the GAA since training for the season began in early December.
“The GPA is extremely disappointed that the GAA's position at the start of 2022 was to continue with the cost-saving mechanisms, for example, players to receive a reduced mileage rate of 50c and to continue to cap players to be only permitted to claim expenses for three sessions per week, resulting in all other scheduled sessions being at the cost of players,” the former Mayo star said.
Parsons argued there “needs to be a complete reset by the GAA when it comes to the respect shown to inter-county players” adding that “until every player is paid their expenses for all collective sessions, there will be action by players in response”.
Elsewhere at the weekend, Armagh moved level on points with Mayo towards the top of Division One thanks to a battling win over Kildare, while Monaghan recorded their first win of the campaign against Donegal in Páirc Mac Cumhaill.
In Division Two, Down fell to a demoralising defeat to Offaly despite being three points ahead with four minutes to play at Páirc Esler. Derry had a more productive weekend as they played out a draw with Roscommon in a result that leaves them still knocking on the door for promotion.
In Division Three, Antrim and Louth have set up a tasty encounter in Ardee this weekend as the two newly-promoted sides both won to put themselves joint-top of the table. Antrim had too much in the locker for Longford at Corrigan Park on Saturday, while Fermanagh couldn't keep pace with Mickey Harte's Wee county at Brewster Park yesterday afternoon.
Cavan suffered their first defeat in Division Four, succumbing 1-11 to 1-7 to Tipperary at Breffni Park, but Mickey Graham's men remain top of the division ahead of this weekend's trip to London.