The GAA’s HawkEye review official Dickie Murphy has confirmed the score detection technology employee on duty for Sunday’s All-Ireland SHC final twice analysed Brian Hogan’s catch before announcing the sliotar had passed his crossbar.
For the second game in a row — and the second time since HawkEye was introduced to the sport in Croke Park in 2013 — the system revealed Hogan had not been able to prevent the ball, on this latest occasion struck by John Donnelly in the 18th minute, from going over the bar for a point.
In the semi-final against Wexford and also at the Hill 16 end of the field, the Tipperary goalkeeper caught Lee Chin’s free and play developed leading to a Tipperary goal before the action was pulled back to reveal Chin’s shot had dissected the posts.
It has been argued HawkEye can only determine the trajectory of the sliotar/football but that is not the case, as has been stated by the company and now Murphy.
“For the regular HawkEye decision, there is the virtual post that extends above the real post and if it hits the virtual post, the plane of it, it’s wide,” opened the four-time All-Ireland SHC referee. “The crossbar was trialled as well because it’s probably the more difficult one to call.
“James (Owens) said to me after Brian caught the ball: ‘Are you checking it?’ and I said we were. The chap from HawkEye checked it and checked it again and the ball had gone over the plane of the bar. So that was the call made on that occasion as it was in the semi-final as well.
“The ability to find that out has been there ever since HawkEye was brought in. There’s a straight red line across and my reading of it is once it goes over that line, it’s a point. If it doesn’t, it’s not a point. The HawkEye official was adamant it was a point.
“The umpire is instructed in such situations not to put up a flag because if he does and we look at it and it’s seen that the ball didn’t cross the crossbar it’s difficult.
“When the ball comes in, the HawkEye official looks at the graphics and tells me straight away whether it’s a point or not. I look down at the umpire to make sure he is signalling correctly. If he isn’t, that’s when I make contact with him and the referee.”
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Hogan himself felt there was no question that he kept out Donnelly’s strike from being a point on Sunday.
“I was fully sure it wasn’t over. I wasn’t even standing on the line — my arm didn’t even hit the crossbar. It definitely wasn’t over the bar. It (his arm) hit the crossbar the last day (v Wexford).”
As for the time it took to make the call, Murphy felt it was an improvement on the extended delay in the semi-final during which John McGrath had a goal disallowed. “I’m not saying we got it a lot quicker (than the semi-final) but it was quick enough. We had to make sure it was right because it was a big call. In fairness, in the semi-final if there wasn’t a goal at the other end there wouldn’t have been a big issue about time.”
He revealed Hogan was close to conceding a second such point in the second half on Sunday when he brought the sliotar down to himself with his hurley.
“That was very tight but that wasn’t a point. He (Hogan) is a big man.”