Wednesday 18 September 2019

Red card saga to rumble on as Kilkenny set to appeal Richie Hogan's All-Ireland final dismissal

Cathal Barrett of Tipperary is tackled by Richie Hogan of Kilkenny, resulting in a red card for Hogan in last Sunday's All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Cathal Barrett of Tipperary is tackled by Richie Hogan of Kilkenny, resulting in a red card for Hogan in last Sunday's All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Dermot Crowe

The Kilkenny county board is believed to be lining up an appeal against Richie Hogan’s red card in last Sunday’s All-Ireland hurling final.

Hogan was sent off shortly before half-time by referee James Owens after grounding Cathal Barrett.

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The 31-year-old will miss the first game of next year’s hurling championship if the card stands, as Kilkenny await the contents of the referee’s report to see what the player is cited for.

Hogan, a former Hurler of the Year who fought back from injury to make the Kilkenny team, is said to be fully backing the appeal.

He gave an interview on Newstalk’s ‘Off the Ball’ on Tuesday evening where he stated that the card was unjust, and the tackle had been merely mistimed.

It is understood that the Kilkenny county board and Hogan have both discussed the matter informally.

He was the first player sent off in an All-Ireland hurling final since Galway’s Cyril Donnellan in 2012. Tipp's Benny Dunne was also red-carded in the 2009 All-Ireland final against Kilkenny.

Hogan is adamant that the collision was unintentional and free of malice and did not involve a deliberate elbow as has been reported. Barrett fell backwards on impact and was on the ground for some time being treated while the referee took time to consult his match officials before making the decision.

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Conor Denieffe, Kilkenny county secretary, said that as of tonight the board had not received a report on the incident from the match referee.

The chairman of the GAA’s referee development committee, Willie Barrett, defended Owens’ actions in taking his time before making the call. This delay, while he consulted with a linesman, was commented upon by Kilkenny manager Brian Cody.

"All I can say about the red card today," Cody commented afterwards, "is that it appeared to me that the referee was absolutely not certain what to do."

But Barrett leaped to Owens’ defence.

"What I saw, I saw from the stands. And we would say if you are making a big decision, if necessary take the extra 30 seconds to make sure you are absolutely correct," Barrett said.

"And in any situation where a player is being considered for a red card or being given a red card and if the ref seeks additional help I would say that is good refereeing. Particularly, if another match official of the game is nearby where the incident occurred."

He said that all referees had been told to firmly clamp down on head high challenges. "What we have told our referees is that anything to the head is a red card.”

He added the player safety was the central motivation behind the tougher stance. "Player welfare and the safety of player is paramount and part of the referee’s duty is to ensure the safety of the players."

Hogan was also caught by a follow-through from Barrett earlier in the half when the Tipp corner back went to intercept a ball in flight, which Hogan was attempting to control. It left Hogan with a facial injury and forced him to leave to field for attention and be replaced in a blood substitution. 

Hogan took a dangerous challenge to the head from Bill Cooper of Cork in the All-Ireland quarter final this year when bending down to pick a ball that was breaking in front of him. He quickly got back up on his feet and Cooper escaped what could have been a red card. Owens was in charge of that match.

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