Tuesday 25 April 2017

Referee Gavin could be in for a busy day at the office

As we wait to see how referee Brian Gavin (Offaly) approaches Sunday's All-Ireland final, it's safe to assume that he will award more frees than Laois man Pat Dunphy, who whistled a mere 11 in the 1922 decider when Kilkenny beat Tipperary.

The finals of the last two years were (how shall we put it?) rather feisty affairs with referees Diarmuid Kirwan (Cork) and Michael Wadding (Waterford) allowing the ash to sing.

Tipperary fared best in the free count under Kirwan in 2009, although they felt that the crucial penalty decision which turned the game Kilkenny's way should have been a free out.

The free count was 19-12 to Kilkenny last year.

Interestingly, Barry Kelly (Westmeath) will be linesman and stand-by referee on Sunday. He awarded Kilkenny just six frees in the semi-final against Waterford, a count which left Brian Cody "baffled, confused, bewildered".

Irish Independent

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