As the ball tracking system making its debut in Semple Stadium tomorrow and the vast amount of hurling played there in contrast to football, it’s not surprising the smaller ball game features in the vast majority of the disputed scoring decisions at the Thurles venue.
Here are 15 occasions when HawkEye would have been most useful on Tom Semple’s fabled field.
In his recent Laochra Gael programme, Bennis insisted his legendary 65 was good. “I had no doubt but ‘twas tailing. But it definitely went over the bar.” Former Tipperary chairman John Costigan, who contributed to the TG4 tribute to Bennis, joked HawkEye would have been quite handy in Thurles that day. Tipperary defenders were adamant the ball had gone wide with claims an umpire was accosted about his decision to award a point.
TV cameras appeared to show a Colin Fennelly first-half point had gone wide while a Noel McGrath effort in extra-time was deemed not to be good even though footage showed it might have been given.
After losing by a point after almost 100 minutes of hurling, Tipp boss Eamon O’Shea said HawkEye was needed at the venue.
Although RTÉ cameras seemed to show otherwise, the Limerick man insisted the white flag should not have been raised for his late free, which ultimately saw off Clare. “If I don’t sum it up, The Sunday Game will. It should have been a draw game.”
In the 20th minute, Stradbally’s Curran kicked what he believed to be a point only for the umpires to disagree.
He protested but nothing came of it and the disputed scoring decision became a hot topic when the sides finished level, 0-9 piece. To add salt to the wounds, the west Clare men won the replay.
TV replays indicated Brendan Cummins had deflected O’Sullivan’s goal-bound shot around the post.
Brian Gavin’s umpire waved accordingly but Gavin maintained it a point be awarded.
Later, Dónal Óg Cusack appeared to have stopped the ball from going over the bar but Tipperary were given the point.
Browne scored three second-half points in a strong second-half show as Waterford cancelled out Clare’s eight-point half-time lead. One was contentious and needed the influence of Ger McCarthy and Shane Ahearne to persuade the umpire. Paul Flynn had a chance to win it for Waterford at the death but a replay ensued where Clare were in defiant form.
From the Kinane Stand, it looked good and true although those in the Ryan Stand said otherwise.
Ultimately, it didn’t matter as Clare won the replay but they may have been saved a second day had Kelly’s second-half effort, which he maintained at the time went between the sticks, was recognised as a point and not a wide.
According to Clare goalkeeper, one of Reid’s strikes at the posts in going down to the Banner last month was wrongly judged to have been a point.
It didn’t impact the result although Stephen O’Keeffe felt he had stopped the Cork man’s effort from going over.
In the second half of last year’s league dcider, the Cork forward fired what cameras later showed to be a clear point. However, it was adjudged to have gone outside of the posts. Waterford won.
Barry Kelly felt Declan Hannon’s 65 was high and true although his umpire disagreed.
Kelly won out but Limerick didn’t, losing by a point, and Dublin gained promotion to Division 1A.
Tipperary won by three in the end but the Cork full-forward claimed to have scored a point with 53rd minute but his opinion wasn’t shared by the men in white.
Later that year, Kelly lost out to Waterford when a legitimate point was dismissed and Tipperary lost a Munster semi-final by the bare minimum.
But in an interview with this newspaper he admitted to having enjoyed a rub of the green – or should that be white - against the Déise earlier in the year when his shot, clearly wide, was deemed a point.
The Tipperary forward struck over what looked like a point from a sideline cut only for the umpires to judge it wide. It didn’t matter in the end as Tipperary won by three points.
Again, the score was of no consequence as Clare were handsome winners but TV footage indicated a point awarded to O’Donnell had hit the outside of the post.