Hawk-Eye forces Treaty appeal

The Limerick County Board will this morning lodge an appeal against the result of Sunday’s All-Ireland minor hurling semi-final in the wake of Hawk-Eye apologising to the GAA for a human error on their part in deeming Barry Nash’s legitimate point wide.

However, Galway manager Mattie Murphy last night told the Irish Examiner he is opposed to the idea of his county offering a replay to Limerick after they beat them by three points following extra-time.

Limerick made the decision at a board meeting last night.

The Sony-owned company admitted to Croke Park officials in GAA HQ that one of their employees had made an error in inputting football values into the Hill 16 end of their system instead of hurling data.

Hawk-Eye managing director Steve Carter and other colleagues met with Croke Park officials in GAA HQ, having flown into Dublin from the UK.

Limerick officials are convinced they now have a case to have their defeat marked null and void.

Their statement last night read: “Luimneach CLG can confirm that we will be appealing with the CCCC (Central Competitions Control Committee) based on the failure of the Hawk-Eye Score Detection System during the All-Ireland minor hurling semi-final in Croke Park on Sunday, August 18.

“In the interest of fairness to all involved we will not be making any further comment until the full process has been determined.”

Galway manager Murphy said the offer of a replay would be a board matter, but personally he would not be agreeable to it.

“To be honest, it’s something that is out of our hands well and truly. It wouldn’t be the manager who would be making that call. It would be up to the powers that be. But if you go back over the game, there was another 59 minutes and 30 seconds plus of normal time and then 20 minutes of extra-time after that incident.

“The what-ifs... you can’t go down that road. We had our captain [Paul Killeen] put off with 10 or 12 minutes to go in last year’s semi-final and we subsequently got one of the cards rescinded. But it was no good to us and Tipperary went on to win the All-Ireland.

“Would we have won? I don’t know. Neither would anybody else.”

In a contrite statement issued by Hawk-Eye, it said: “Hawk-Eye is committed to maintaining its position as the premier score detection system in the world. During the game between Limerick and Galway at Croke Park on Sunday last, conflicting readings were displayed by the Hawk-Eye system. This was due to an error in match day set-up on the part of the Hawk-Eye team.

“All of the settings were adjusted to cater for hurling, bar one value for the Hill 16 end posts, which was set for football.

“Steve Carter, the managing director of Hawk-Eye Innovations, met with the representatives of the GAA at an urgent meeting this evening. He explained the cause of the malfunction and the operational steps being taken, under his personal supervision, by the Hawk-Eye team to ensure there will be no repetition.

“Sony Hawk-Eye wishes to apologise to the GAA and its supporters and to reassure them that the system will be fully reliable for all future games.”

Speaking to TV3, Carter explained one of the members of the Hawk-Eye team had made a mistake and the diameter of a football instead of a sliotar was used, creating “a small overlap” resulting in a wrong verdict flashed to referee Fergal Horgan.

He also said an error of this kind would “absolutely not be repeated again”. Asked if it was an embarrassment for Hawk-Eye, he said: “We are in the middle of a trial but obviously Hawk-Eye’s credibility is essential and it’s essential people trust that technology. We have years of experience being successful in cricket and tennis and also we’ve had 18 months incident free in Croke Park here as well.

“There was no question of the fundamental technology being flawed. We had the position of the ball correct. It was just an issue with the display of that information.”

Earlier in the day, the GAA had met for an internal review of Sunday’s error where they had no explanation for the malfunction.

Former Clare manager Ger Loughnane said the incident shouldn’t detract from a welcome initiative into score detection technology.

“I was certain the ball was wide,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland. “Now it was a point so it didn’t work. Something went wrong on the day. I wouldn’t condemn it on a one-off like that.

“What I really commended was the decision then by the authorities to say, ‘right, there is something wrong with it. We won’t have it for the senior match’. “It takes slightly from the fact it wasn’t there for the senior game but I wouldn’t condemn on one mistake.”

Never slow to miss publicity, a leading bookmakers refunded over €20,000 on all pre-game bets placed on the Limerick minors in the wake of the errant Hawk-Eye decision.

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