Tipperary's Championship is over prematurely: they have been beaten 1-17 to 1-15 in a strange game at Semple Stadium. The game was very tight throughout, albeit somewhat lacking in intensity, particularly in the first-half. Ultimately, Armagh came from two points down at half-time to win by the same margin, with the main talking point of the second-half the strange decisions made by referee Paddy Neilan, specifically his interpretation of the advantage rule.
Tipperary fans felt most aggrieved in the second-half, but he horsed Armagh in the first-half by disallowing a goal by Gavin McParland, instead calling the game back for an Armagh free, supposedly for a foul on McParland. The foul was pretty much non-existent.
Then in second-half stoppage-time, with Tipperary chasing a three-point deficit, Phillip Austin broke through a couple of tackles, and once clear, he was whistled back to kick a free over the bar.
The reason Austin and Tipp were chasing the game was a result of a Jamie Clarke goal in the 68th minute, which arose from....a Tipperary advantage. Neilan gave Tipp the advantage, who immediately kicked the ball away. Rather than call it back, he instead played on, and Armagh went down the other end of the pitch and scored the game's critical score.
James Horan, speaking on Sky Sports after the game, said that the referee's head was "frazzled" by the advantage rule, which states that the referee can give a side an advantage for "up to five seconds after the initial foul or for less time if it becomes clear that no advantage has accrued".
Fair to say that Neilan made a mess of that single rule, for he made few mistakes aside from that.
The reaction from Tipperary was unsurprising:
Anyone know the quickest way out of Thurles town ? TippVArmagh #gaa pic.twitter.com/En3jhCH4b4
— Hector (@hectorirl) July 15, 2017
Referee absolutely screwed Tipperary. Hung them on those 2 crazy advantage calls. #GAA
— Diarmuid Nolan (@dermonolan91) July 15, 2017
#Tipperary fans are outraged and rightly so - nothing to do with Armagh but the calls from the man in black were astoundingly bad
— Mary K Burke (@MKBurke1) July 15, 2017
Ref has had shocker here. Screwed Armagh in 1st & Tipp in 2nd half w/ not giving advantage. McKeever should also have been black carded #GAA
— Denis O'Brien (@BlueDenis87) July 15, 2017
The referee had to be escorted from the pitch after the game, having been confronted by an irate Tipperary supporter:
Referee was poor for both teams. But the Tipperary man running on confronting him from the stands at the end. No need for that shite #gaa
— Martin O’Connor (@Martinoc00) July 15, 2017
Steven McDonnell, meanwhile, was in no mood for forgetting:
Call the Garda quick. We did #PipTheTipp when it mattered most. Thanks for the motivational tweets. #OneLifeOneCounty pic.twitter.com/OAKt8FbsUw
— Steven McDonnell (@StevenMcD13) July 15, 2017