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People Couldn't Get Over Noel McGrath's Red Card In Munster Club Semi-Final

People Couldn't Get Over Noel McGrath's Red Card In Munster Club Semi-Final
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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There is something special about the club championships.

Seeing the best club sides from around the country take each other on on a national stage makes for a brilliant spectacle.  Of course, it always helps to have a few top class inter-county players on your side.

Tipperary hurling champions Loughmore-Castleiney are a prime example. They are blessed with some wonderful players, with their contingent of McGraths chief amongst them.

They would take on Waterford's Ballygunner this afternoon in the Munster semi-final, hoping to reach the final in the competition for the first time since 2007.

Ballygunner would have the better of the play in the opening period, with Loughmore-Castleiney's task made all the more difficult by a controversial refereeing decision.

Noel McGrath was given his marching orders for barging an opposition player off the ball. It seemed a very harsh call, even more so when you consider the Tipp man was retaliating to having been hit with a shoulder first.

It was a big decision that was always going to have a major impact on the remainder of the contest.


There was a general consensus among those watching the game that McGrath had been very hard done by.


Noel's younger brother John would also be sent off in the final ten minutes after picking up two yellow cards.

Loughmore-Castleiney would put up a spirited fight over the remainder of the game, but they just couldn't keep pace with the opposition and would eventually to a 2-11 to 0-12 defeat.

While there is no guarantee that they would have won against a very good Ballygunner team even with 15 men, the task was a lot more difficult after this call.

A tough way to go out.

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