ALL-IRELAND FALLOUT: Cats’ rage over Hogan’s red won’t change the result
By COLIN BARTLEY
SUNDAY, AUGUST 18, 2019 will not be a day to be remembered in Kilkenny.
Both the senior and minor hurling teams were on the end of humbling defeats. It is hard to argue with either result but there are those who are trying.
Most anger is focused on Richie Hogan’s red card. There is no doubt the card had a huge effect on the game. Fourteen-point defeats are not in the language of Kilkenny hurling, defeat is not in Kilkenny’s DNA.
Of all defeats, this one hurts the most, not just a loss, but a loss to a Tipperary team it’s hard to argue is in its pomp.
Kilkenny started well, Tipp nervously, and then just before the half-hour, it happened, Richie’s card happened.
There are many in the county wondering today if there is any such thing as parity, arguing about inconsistency in referring. One would say if Richie Hogan’s challenge was a red, David Gough should have brandished it straight away. If he had gone straight for the red, those same people would argue David Gough should have consulted the linesmen. It’s a tough job being a referee.
Common sense has been dragged out of sport in general. Look at VAR in soccer and some of the ridiculous hand-ball calls of recent weeks. James Owens had no choice under the rules laid down by the GAA. Once he or his officiating team saw Richie Hogan’s hit on Cathal Barret, there was no other option: he had to go.
Had Owens not shown that red, he would never officiate at that level again. The GAA would have said he missed it, or he bottled it and he’d be whistling at under-12 matches next season.
Once it was seen the referees’ hands were tied.
Paddy Deegan’s helmet ended up on the ground somehow. Nothing was seen and nothing was done.
Cathal Barrett drew blood from Richie Hogan, people are wondering was that not equal to the red?
Eoin Murphy was clothes lined by John McGrath, a move a WWE star would have been proud of. Where was the red there?
Unfortunately, none of these incidents warranted reds, and any hurling person knows that.
The impact Richie Hogan’s red had on the game was very evident. There was a surreal atmosphere throughout the second half. Kilkenny needed goals and Barry Heffernan, Cathal Barrett, and the Maher’s Ronan and Brendan were in no mood to allow anything pass. The result was only going one way.
Let’s not forget Tipperary were behind in the semi-final against Wexford and then went a man down with 30 minutes to go. Trailing by 6-points with 20 minutes to go, Tipperary simply focused and took point after point. Wexford didn’t match them. When Kilkenny started pointing yesterday, Tipp matched them and that was crucial. Tipp were relentless from then on and it led to a humbling defeat.
Days like yesterday don’t happen often, but they do happen. Kilkenny dished them out in their pomp on a regular basis, ask any Limerick, Clare or Waterford follower. Kilkenny showed them huge respect by playing at their maximum until the final whistle, Tipperary afforded this respect to Kilkenny yesterday.
This week Tipperary will celebrate, Kilkenny will reflect, but that’s hurling and that’s sport.
Next week it starts all over again. Roll on 2020.