Thursday 20 June 2019

Owens in charge of Sunday's All-Ireland

James Owens on refereeing duty in Bellefield on Saturday
James Owens on refereeing duty in Bellefield on Saturday

Brendan Furlong

James Owens will be the man in the middle for Sunday's All-Ireland Senior hurling final between Galway (holders) and Limerick at Croke Park.

The Askamore-Kilrush referee will have his fellow clubmen, James Dunbar and David Owens, along with Joe Kelly (Naomh Eanna) and Ian Plunkett (Marshalstown-Castledockrell) on his team of umpires.

The stand-by by referee will bge Fergal Horgan (Tipperary).

This will be Owens' second All-Ireland Senior final, having previously refereed Kilkenny's win over Galway in 2015, while he has also refereed the All-Ireland Minor final of 2007, the Under-21 final in 2008, and the Club final of 2015.

In this year's hurling championship he has so refereed the semi-final draw involving Galway and Clare, the Leinster final replay between Galway and Kilkenny, as well as Kilkenny and Offaly in the Leinster round robin, and Cork versus Clare, and Clare versus Limerick, in the Munster equivalent.

His appointment, however, has been surrounded by some controversy. w

Westmeath referee James McGrath had been widely expected to be handed the final role, but once the committee decided on Owens it eventually led to the long-serving midlands referee retiring from the inter-county panel.

Owens' classic officiating of the Galway versus Clare drawn semi-final was a key factor in being assigned to this important task.

Enniscorthy Guardian