Richie Hogan has questioned James Owens’ decision to send him off in Sunday’s All-Ireland SHC final, insisting his elbow didn’t catch Cathal Barrett. The 2014 hurler of the year was dismissed in the 33rd minute for appearing to make contact with Barrett’s face. Owens made the call after consulting with his linesman Johnny Murphy.
However, Hogan is adamant the referee made the wrong decision and believes the divisive reaction to the red card indicates it wasn’t a straightforward call.
He told Off The Ball: “I watched it back there this morning, I stayed away from it earlier on, but I was going in for a shoulder on Cathal Barrett and he stepped inside and my momentum kind of took me through.
“In my opinion, there was absolutely no way it was a sending off. But that’s the way these things go. Sometimes they go for you and sometimes they go against. It was one of those things for me.”
Hogan said he would not have changed his technique or done anything different and took issue with how his foul on him was portrayed.
Attacking something with your elbow, that’s a dirty challenge and that’s not in my game.
He said it was evident that he was attempting to shoulder Barrett. “It was clear as day to anyone at the match, what I was trying to do. The first thing I thought was to get back and get after the ball, then when I turned around and saw him on the ground I thought ‘it’s a free’.
“I was complaining about getting a yellow card, because it was one of those clearly accidental, honest challenges in my opinion. I just assumed that he was taking the wrong card, to be honest with you, because he had stopped for a long time.”
Hogan is almost certain Owens said to him it was a late challenge and was amazed when he took out the red card.
“It’s not an easy game to referee, so I wouldn’t be pointing any blame at James Owens, Cathal Barrett, or anyone, really. It’s just obviously a difficult situation.”
However, he continued: “They spoke about your arm not being down by your side. This is not Irish dancing. We have hurleys in our hands — how do we hold a 36in hurley without bending your arm?”
The 31-year-old maintains his elbow did not make contact with Barrett.
“For me, any talk of an elbow was crazy. The first I heard of it was this (Tuesday) morning. I couldn’t believe that lads were mentioning elbows. I went in with the shoulder, he slipped me and I could actually feel the contact coming off as he was swinging around.
“I didn’t expect him to be down, but when I looked around and saw him down then, I thought: ‘OK it’s a free,’ turned around, and went to get up the field to defend it.”
Hogan dismissed the suggestion that Barrett’s earlier foul on him wasn’t a red card and nor was Bill Cooper’s on Hogan in the All-Ireland quarter-final.
He added: “If you look at rugby, if a player is committed to the challenge and he has tackled late, then it is just play on. There’s an understanding there.
“It was as obvious as day that I went into an honest challenge to shoulder him over the line and he cut back in. Was there contact? There was absolutely contact. I’m not going to deny that. But it was a completely honest challenge.”
Hogan praised Tipperary for their victory, complimenting them on their form from the opening day win over Cork.
“I don’t want the All-Ireland final to be ruined by controversy over a particular incident. I mean, I will never speak about it again. We’ll just get up and get on with it, and wish Tipperary well.
“The next week and couple of months should be about Tipperary.”
Hogan, who has serious back difficulties, revealed he tore a medial ligament in his knee in the semi-final win over Limerick and said he was “patched up” for the final, having not trained in the build-up. He said he can’t currently train now without a physio assisting him.