The hand pass rule is a ‘non-runner’, according to Derry manager Damian McErlain after watchinig his side’s first competitive game under the new rules.

The Oakleafers began their 2019 season with a 0-20 to 0-11 defeat to Tyrone on Thursday night at Celtic Park.

Over the game referee Paul Faloon awarded 10 frees for the infringement of making more than three consecutive hand passes.

The proposed rule change, one of five, was originally brought in for the McKenna Cup and league, before the GAA took a u-turn, opting for a ‘review’ in January.

“We played Carlow (in a challenge game) before coming here and there was a bit of frustration that night but it is even worse tonight,” McErlain commented.

“It caught both teams out on a number of occasions and the most frustrating thing was there was something about to happen each time the move was blown up by the referee.”

It was the same for both teams, McErlain agreed, with play being called back.

“When fatigue sets in, it is difficult enough for players to concentrate on the speed of the game, rather than having to concentrate on the amount of passes that have been given - the hand pass one is a non-runner.”

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