Reigning Hurler of the Year Cian Lynch has admitted he was ‘distraught’ following the incorrect decision not to award Limerick a late ‘65 in their defeat to Kilkenny.
A Darragh O’Donovan sideline cut deflected off Cillian Buckley’s hurley before going out over the endline though a Kilkenny puck-out was awarded and full-time sounded soon after.
Limerick lodged an official complaint after the one-point defeat, expressing ‘disappointment, frustration and dissatisfaction’ at the ending, though didn’t object to the result.
Midfielder Lynch said he’s ‘not spiteful or holding any grudges’ and acknowledged that Kilkenny won ‘fair and square’ but admitted he was personally devastated not to get the ‘65, arguing that Diarmaid Byrnes would probably have converted it.
“Obviously it’s hurtful and it’s hard like when you sacrifice everything in life, you’re full-time hurling, you’re trying to go to work and you barely see your family most evenings and when something like that can kind of define your year it’s very hard to take,” said Lynch.
“You kind of question what’s the purpose to keep going, when something like that can define it. I’m not going to blame or pinpoint that as a reason why we lost. A lot of it goes back to ourselves, we were outfought for most stages of the game.”
Lynch said it was clear to him on the day that Buckley got a touch on the ball.
“Myself, Darragh O’Donovan and Brian Geary (selector), we all saw it straight away like,” said Lynch.
“You always look back and see if there’s anything you could have done, to see if you could have stopped the play or whatever. I don’t know, it’s a regret that we’ll have to live with the rest of our lives. Whatever we do in the future, whether we get back to All-Ireland finals or whatever, even if we don’t, we’ll look back in later life and remember that day. I know we lost fair and square and that Kilkenny were brilliant on the day but that was a decision that could have been a 65 and we could have drawn the game.
“I’m not spiteful or holding any grudges but it is something that stays in the back of my mind. I was distraught after it, to be honest.”
Lynch said he’s open-minded about the possible introduction of new technology such as soccer’s Video Assisted Referee (VAR) to adjudicate in such scenarios.
“The way it’s gone, if players are willing to give 12 months of the year to training and we’re sacrificing everything and not getting a cent to do it - on the day of a match we’re probably the only lads not getting anything for it - then I suppose something like that, VAR or something that can just stop the game for a split second and call something back, whatever it might be,” he said.
“That’s down the line, it’s not for players to decide either. But you don’t want decisions like that to define years for you.”
Lynch said ‘it will be hard enough’ to watch Sunday’s final between Kilkenny and Tipperary but still reckons he will attend.
Quirke's Football Podcast: Kerry's leaders stand up but fresh approach needed for Gavin's 'Avengers'
“I suppose the way they go about their business they are like assassins,” he said of Kilkenny. “They come out and every man for himself throws in hits and gets stuck in and gets on the ball and is willing to go the extra inch. I don’t know, we didn’t bring the intensity that we would have like to have brought against them, and they brought it.
"They took their chances and they were ruthless and efficient. That’s something we weren’t on the day and that’s great credit to them.”
But the Patrickswell man stopped short of tipping Brian Cody to land a 12th All-Ireland as Kilkenny boss.
"I would say it will go down to the wire,” he said. “We played Tipperary twice this year, they beat us in the Munster championship group stage and we beat them in the Munster final. You see the brand of players they have, even the lads they are bringing off the line.
"Seamus Callanan is flying it and Tipp are going well when he is playing well. With Kilkenny then, their work-rate and what we saw when they played us, it’s huge.”
A draw then?
“Yeah, a drawn game,” smiled Lynch.
Centra’s #WeAreHurling campaign continues to champion the hurling community for the 2019 GAA All-Ireland senior hurling championship season.