Striking incidents overshadow Galway Hurling Final

The Galway County Board are under pressure to react to the unruly scenes which marred yesterday’s Galway Senior Hurling Championship final.

Striking incidents overshadow Galway Hurling Final

The Galway County Board are under pressure to react to the unruly scenes which marred yesterday’s Galway Senior Hurling Championship final.

St Thomas were crowned champions after beating Loughrea 3-11 to 2-11 in their first ever senior county final appearance at Pearse Stadium.

But experienced referee Eoin Shaughnessy, together with his linesmen and umpires, failed to punish players for a series of off-the-ball offences.

The deferred TV coverage on TG4 captured a couple of notable striking incidents involving St Thomas star Richie Murray, who scored a hat-trick of goals, and Loughrea’s two-goal ace Johnny Maher.

An alleged stamp by Murray on Loughrea’s Damien McClearn was missed by the match officials, while two obvious strikes by Maher, in full view of the referee and umpires, also went unpunished.

A YouTube video of the 57th minute incident involving Maher has surfaced, showing the Loughrea full-forward lashing out at defenders Sean Skehill and Robert Murray.

Referee Shaughnessy had just awarded a penalty to Maher when the Loughrea target man retaliated and hit Skehill and Murray with his hurley, causing the pair to need medical treatment.

The referee was seen to consult with his umpires but no action was taken regarding Maher’s conduct and he proceeded to fire the penalty to the net, cutting St. Thomas’ lead to 3-11 to 2-11.

Maher, who got married on Friday, then had a chance to level the game in deepest injury-time but his shot was blocked and duly cleared to safety.

It was Loughrea’s fifth Galway SHC final defeat in 10 years and could be followed by some disciplinary action from County Board, with calls from some quarters for Galway chiefs to act over the performance of the match officials.

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