Sunday 18 August 2019

kelly does superb job in classic final

Is there anything more that can be said about the hurling final?

They say the match referee normally has a superb game if little is mentioned of him in the aftermath. But this time, Barry Kelly has been mentioned many times since but almost always because of his superb refereeing performance.

In a week when the authorities announced the referee to take control of the football final, perhaps it is only fair that I nod in the direction of Kelly's excellence last Sunday.

As I found time and space the previous week to criticise the performance of the ref in the Kerry v Mayo replayed All-Ireland football semi-final (Cormac Reilly of Meath) praise where praise is due must also find time and space.


Defending the indefensible (Meath County Board: the ref is one of our own so, we defend him!) is of course a nonsensical position to adopt and I have no doubt the Meath man will in time recover to play some stormers in the future.

We all have off days and must face the criticism and then get back upon the horse for more.

Missing this year's All-Ireland appointment because of a semi-final howler is a fate many of us players have had to face each year when we play poorly in semis. So, spare me the nonsense.

Back to Kelly then, who had a brilliant game last Sunday and contributed immensely to possibly the greatest game of hurling ever played.

He must have felt a million dollars as he headed home, happy that he made the big calls with authority, decisiveness and most of all, according to the rule book.

Yes, he missed the odd foul here and there but he certainly did not cost either side in terms of victory or defeat.

He really should get the replay but unfortunately, that is unlikely due to a 'tradition of the service' that rules him out. All the same, great job, well done!

PS: Barry, can you get your 'Hawkeye' umpire (again, another brilliant effort by this umpire) to draw the 'Hawkeye box' requirement from the top down rather the the bottom up. His technique looks like a hesitant wide until the penny drops that he is actually drawing a box!

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