Offaly man Gavin to take charge of All-Ireland decider

OFFALY’S Brian Gavin will referee the All-Ireland SHC final between Kilkenny and Tipperary in Croke Park on September 4.

Offaly man Gavin to take charge of All-Ireland decider

In what will be his first decider, the Clara official will take charge of the game after being on duty for theTipperary-Waterford Munster final in July.

Gavin previously refereed three All-Ireland semi-finals as well as the 2004 All-Ireland minor final and 2006 U21 decider.

“It’s a huge achievement,” said Gavin. “I didn’t think I’d get here starting off as a referee. It’s a greathonour.

“You usually get notification by six o’clock on a Monday evening whether you’ve been appointed to a game. I didn’t find out until close to 9 so it was a long two and a half hours or so. I thought someone else might have got it.”

Gavin will become the second Offaly-born referee to take chargeof an All-Ireland final in three yearsafter Diarmuid Kirwan in the 2009 game also between Kilkenny andTipperary.

Officially, as Kirwan is a member of the Eire Óg club in Ovens and therefore affiliated to Cork, Gavin is the first Offaly man to get the top honour since Pádraig Horan in 1996 when Limerick played Wexford.

Westmeath’s Barry Kelly will be Gavin’s standby referee, the otherlinesman is John Sexton (Cork) and the sideline official will be Alan Kelly (Galway). Tipperary’s Johnny Ryan will be throwing the ball in for the minor final between Dublin and Galway in Croke Park next month. He also has All-Ireland final experience havingrefereed the U21 final in 2007 as well as the All-Ireland club SHC final between Clarinbridge and O’Loughlin Gaels earlier this year.

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