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Wednesday 13 November 2019

'Owens not certain about red': Cody

TALKING POINT: Kilkenny manager Brian Cody. Pic: Sportsfile
TALKING POINT: Kilkenny manager Brian Cody. Pic: Sportsfile

It was possible to both have sympathy for and disagree with Brian Cody yesterday.

For a man managing in his 18th All-Ireland final, many of the day's more romantic narratives were dependant on him winning a 13th Liam MacCarthy Cup with a group of players most assumed would be occupied by their respective club championship at this stage of the hurling year.

They were all but kiboshed by Richie Hogan's red card after 33 minutes.

Hogan raised his arm and connected with the faceguard of Cathal Barrett and if James Owens would hardly have been castigated had he doled out just a yellow, he made a decision he was fully aware would impact hurling's biggest day in a profound way.

Cody said he was "amazed" to see Owens reach for his red card although most people who had seen it back agreed with the referee.

Cody posited that it took Owens too much time and too much deliberation to reach a verdict on a call that would have fatal ramifications for one of the teams involved.

To take such serious action, he argued, you have to be certain. And no referee who is completely clear-minded about what he saw requires a second or third opinion.

"Well there's a lot of ye here, I wonder what ye all think?" said Cody addressing a room of people who had seen replays and almost unanimously agreed with Owens.

"Because nobody seems to know. I was close to it.

"I saw he turned and he went and he went down.

"The only thing I will say," Cody went on, "is, first of all, we're not going to be making excuses for not winning the game.

"We were beaten well in the final score but it's a huge decision to make, to issue a red card.

"You'd want to be very, very definite before you do a thing like that and certainly it took the referee a long, long time to decide to make up his mind and say, 'I wonder what that should be?'

"He consulted himself, he consulted his linesman, he consulted the player himself, went over to have a look at him (Barrett).

"And I would say if he knew for certain what it was going to be he would have made his mind up straight away," concluded Cody.

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