Tipperary were crowned All-Ireland minor hurling champions yesterday after a goal from Paddy McCormack in the dying seconds in front of 27,000 people at Nowlan Park, but Offaly fans are still feeling aggrieved by a number of key refereeing decisions in the second half.
Offaly were leading 1-16 to 0-17 with just seconds of the injury time remaining, when Offaly's Niall Furlong looked to be fouled inside his own half. Ref Shane Hynes waved play on before awarding a free to Tipperary.
Furlong toppled after being shouldered in the back. Hynes had a perfect view of the incident and decided it was a fair shoulder.
— Michael Mcloughlin (@mclougmi) July 3, 2022
Moments later, McCormack scored the goal that broke Offaly hearts.
It wasn't the only decision that seemed to go against Offaly and during the second-half, Cathal Robinson raced through on goal, only to be struck in the head by a hurl thrown at him by Tipperary's Damien Corbett.
Robinson's shot was saved but a penalty wasn't awarded to the Faithful County. Corbett was sent off for the hurl throw but it was just a free awarded.
GAA: Lee O'Connor on decisions against Offaly
After the game, Offaly manager Leo O'Connor was measured but did add there was a "sour taste" was left by the amount of important decisions that went against Offaly.
"People are saying that some of the decisions...was it a penalty? I haven't looked at it yet, but I'm told it was a penalty. Should we have got a free before they got the last ball in? Were they inside in the square? These are all questions that are being thrown at me. I've not seen them (back),
"I'm not criticising anyone, I want to make that crystal clear. But when you have decisions that go against you on a consistent basis, like they did today, for minors, 16 and 17 years of age, it leaves a sour taste in the mind.
“Hindsight is a great thing and I'm not commenting on any of the decisions, but I just want to make it crystal clear that too many people have come up to me now, what, 25 minutes later, half an hour later after an All-Ireland and they're saying it's a complete injustice. From what I'm led to believe some of the decisions were questionable.”
— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) July 3, 2022
Former intercounty referee and Offaly native Brian Gavin had some interesting analysis of the match in his weekly refereeing column in the Irish Examiner today.
Gavin wrote in his column that the a loophole in the rulebook prevented the Robinson incident from being a penalty. He also called Furlong tackle a "sickener".
"Tipperary’s red card was the right call but you must wonder about the rulebook when throwing a hurl at Cathal Robinson and denying what was most surely a clear goalscoring opportunity didn’t also result in a penalty. That must be reflected in an updated version of the rule next year.
Shane’s decision not to give Niall Furlong a free just before Tipperary were awarded one, which led to Paddy McCormack’s winning goal, was a sickener for all Offaly people."
"If Shane was looking at the foul from a different angle, his call would be understandable but he was standing right beside it."
Reaction from Offaly fans on Twitter
It's safe to say that the late drama didn't go down well with the Offaly supporters and GAA fans in general, with many taking to Twitter to vent their frustration.
— Roy Malone (@roymalone100) July 3, 2022
FT. Tipperary 1-17 Offaly 1-16. Heartbreaking. Fair play to Tipperary as they lift the cup, but massive massive questions to be answered in those final moments.
— Joe Troy (@TheRealJT23) July 3, 2022
As a GAA fan I am totally embarrassed by the referee in the minor hurling final. Time was up and a free out to Offaly at the end. In addition Tipp got nearly 3 times as many frees as Offaly throughout the game. Atrocious officiating #offaly #minorhurlng
— Colm Rowsome (@trublu1972) July 3, 2022
Despite the loss, Offaly GAA have organised a bus tour for their heroic side that came so close to All-Ireland silverware.
Details on the homecoming can be found here.
Offaly GAA are asking our supporters to come out to support our minor hurling heroes one last time in 2022. We are holding a homecoming event tomorrow evening. Please come out and give these young men the welcome they deserve.#TheFaithful#ThebestsupportersinIreland pic.twitter.com/hHeU7MP5QJ
— Official Offaly GAA (@Offaly_GAA) July 3, 2022