Opening shot – Ulster hurling’s real problem

John Hughes says Ulster Hurling referees call too many soft frees

John Hughes says Ulster Hurling referees call too many soft frees

John Hughes says that discrepancy between refereeing at the top level compared to the level that Ulster teams are playing at, may be hindering progress.

In his Opening shot column, Hughes suggests that Ulster would benefit from having the game flow better.


He said: “Ulster hurling has many many problems, we all know that, but I really think that the different refereeing standards we seem to apply in the north are a huge part of the issue.

“Ulster refs give soft frees. I see that in every game of hurling I watch up here. That leaves sides poorly prepared for facing southern opponents. If you lose the physical confrontation, you haven’t a hope of winning on the score board.

“There is a broader point from the hurling final though. Why is refereeing so incredibly inconsistent when it comes to physical contact?”

Read the full column in the current issue of Gaelic Life. If you would like to read it now, click here to buy the online edition.


Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


Gaelic Life is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW