Tipperary's Fergal Horgan to referee All-Ireland senior hurling final
TIPPERARY’S Fergal Horgan will referee next month’s All-Ireland senior hurling final between Galway and Waterford.
Horgan’s appointment to his first senior decider caps a meteoric rise for the Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams clubman, who got the nod ahead of Cork’s Colm Lyons.
The GAA’s Central Referee Appointments Committee, chaired by Tipp man Willie Barrett, is due to confirm the news imminently.
The September 3 showpiece will cap a stellar season for Horgan, who took charge of the AIB senior club final between Cuala and Ballyea on St Patrick’s Day.
He was also the man in the middle for the Wexford-Kilkenny Leinster semi-final – and the glamour Munster final clash between Cork and Clare this summer.
Horgan (38) was the ref for the 2013 All-Ireland U21 B final, before he took charge of the 2014 All-Ireland minor decider.
He’s now reached the pinnacle of his refereeing career – having been appointed to the national panel as recently as 2013.
Horgan has already taken charge of high-profile Waterford fixtures this year.
He awarded a hotly-disputed late penalty to Cork against the Déise in the Bord Gáis Energy Munster U21 hurling semi-final, which allowed the Rebels to snatch a last-gasp victory.
And Horgan sent off Tadhg de Búrca in Waterford’s All-Ireland senior hurling quarter-final victory over Wexford.
De Búrca sat last Sunday’s semi-final victory over Cork through suspension – after being reported for interfering with Harry Kehoe’s head-gear.
But Central Referee Appointments Committee members believe that Horgan is the best man for the biggest game of the year – and has shown the requisite levels of form and confidence throughout the season to date.
He’ll become the first Munster referee to take charge of an All-Ireland senior decider since Waterford’s Michael Wadding in 2010, who oversaw the Tipperary-Kilkenny tie.
All-Ireland final referees and quarter-final correlation:
2009 – Diarmuid Kirwan (Waterford v Galway quarter-final)
2010 – Michael Wadding (Cork v Antrim quarter-final)
2011 – Brian Gavin (Dublin v Limerick quarter-final)
2012 (first game) – Barry Kelly (Waterford v Cork quarter-final)
2013 (first game) – Brian Gavin (Clare v Galway quarter-final)
2014 (first game) – Barry Kelly (Limerick v Wexford quarter-final)
2015 – James Owens (Galway v Cork quarter-final)
2016 – Brian Gavin (Clare v Galway quarter-final)
2017 – Fergal Horgan (Waterford v Wexford quarter-final)