Sport Hurling

Monday 20 November 2017

Barry-Murphy fury over ref's 'unbelievable' call

25 February 2012; Cork manager Jimmy Barry Murphy watches his team in action against Waterford. Allianz Hurling League, Division 1A, Cork v Waterford, Pairc Ui Rinn, Cork. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
25 February 2012; Cork manager Jimmy Barry Murphy watches his team in action against Waterford. Allianz Hurling League, Division 1A, Cork v Waterford, Pairc Ui Rinn, Cork. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Jackie Cahill

CORK manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy slammed referee James McGrath's decision to send off Patrick Horgan in the Munster final.

Barry-Murphy declined to speak to national media but told local reporters that the dismissal of Horgan was an "unbelievable decision".

The Cork boss raged: "It was an unbelievable decision. That's all I can say. Anybody that was at the match can judge for themselves."

Limerick boss John Allen conceded that Horgan's sending-off was a "major call". The Shannonsiders benefited hugely as Richie McCarthy was utilised as the spare man and Limerick ran riot in the second half.

The sides were level at the break – 0-10 apiece – but Limerick won the second half 0-14 to 0-5. With that extra defensive solidity, Cork struggled to break through and Allen emptied his bench to good effect.

Shane Dowling, Kevin Downes and Niall Moran hit 0-6 between them to crown another big Limerick display. Allen admitted: "The sending-off was a major call but how often have we seen teams reduced to 14 by a sending-off playing better and winning the game?

"We decided at half-time that Richie McCarthy should be our spare man and the other players would pick up somebody, whoever was in their zone, and there would be no grey areas. I think that was very significant."

Allen claimed he hadn't seen the red card but Limerick adjusted quickly and he said: "Once we decided Richie McCarthy was the sweeper we stuck to that and I suppose Cork never really looked like getting a grip."

At half-time, Allen was pleased as he "wasn't too happy with how the inside forwards played". But with such a strong bench to choose from, Allen was always in a position of strength with the man advantage. He acknowledged: "Given how well we finished the last day (against Tipperary) and the strength of our bench I felt we were in a good position. Overall, I can't speak highly enough of the players, who have been super since I took over."

Allen modestly shifted Limerick's success onto the players, insisting it was their achievement.

He explained: "I'm the conduit or the facilitator of what happens. It's a Munster championship, one of the two titles we want to win when playing senior hurling. I'm very proud of the Limerick players.

"It's a great achievement and just reward for a team that has been very honest in everything they've done... and anything we've asked them to do."

Allen is relishing the prospect of an All-Ireland semi-final on August 18 but before that, there's a date with 'the Boss'. He smiled: "We're off to Bruce Springsteen on Thursday night first, but it's great. It's a semi-final, you earn the right to play in a semi-final, Cork earned the right to play in a quarter-final and that's about it.

"The next game has to be won as well and prepared properly for. We have to try and keep a handle on the hype as best we can. We're only as far as a semi-final, there isn't going to be any talk of anything else."

Meanwhile, as Cork's management team snubbed the national media afterwards, it was left to veteran Tom Kenny to sum up the Rebels' mood.

Wing-back Kenny said the decision to send off Horgan was incorrect and revealed: "My initial thought was that the ball hit the helmet but I wasn't sure then with the height of the sun.

"The players said that Pa didn't touch him so it was probably the wrong decision on the ref's part.

"I know we were down to 14 men but Limerick finished a lot stronger than us. If we had 15 maybe we would have finished out the game stronger too and as winners.

"Obviously it contributed to the final result. We will have to look at our own failings and try and move on."

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