John O’Dwyer has pointed out the curious fact that score detection technology, or the lack of it in one instance, effectively cost Tipperary an Allianz League and All-Ireland title double in 2014.
‘Bubbles’ was, of course, the player whose injury-time free to win the drawn All-Ireland final was declared a wide by Hawk-Eye, necessitating a replay which opponents Kilkenny won.
Earlier in the year, the lack of Hawk-Eye in Thurles equally cost Tipp and again Kilkenny were the beneficiaries as a Colin Fennelly point that went wide was awarded, a decisive wrong call in a one-point Cats win.
Unfortunately for O’Dwyer, that All-Ireland final miss will forever be attached to his name though he revealed he initially thought he’d scored a legitimate point to win the game.
“I did — and I still think it was over!” said O’Dwyer. “Hawk-Eye is there and I think it’s good for the game to have a system like that. But when you think back, we could have won the league in 2014 if we’d had Hawk-Eye in Semple Stadium. It was in Croke Park for the All-Ireland final and we lost.”
Killenaule man O’Dwyer was yesterday named as the Opel Player of the Month for June, proving that the high-profile miss last September hasn’t affected his form.
“It’s still going to be in the back of my mind alright and I’ll look back on it in years to come but not now when I’m hurling,” he said. “It doesn’t pay any dividends to do that at the moment.”
While Hawk-Eye deliberated, O’Dwyer said he believed briefly that he’d just won the All-Ireland for Tipp. “Yeah, I did,” he said. “But we got a second chances so it’s not as if we lost that game. I know we lost the replay but we didn’t hurl well in the replay. It would have been a more bitter pill to take if we had actually lost the first game. It was hard to take at the time but we’re over it.”
So over it, in fact, that Tipp are Munster champions again and looking forward to another All-Ireland semi-final.
O’Dwyer insisted they’re not driven by any desire to perform for manager Eamon O’Shea who will step down when the season is over.
“People say, ‘The players are playing for Eamon O’Shea’ and stuff like this,” said O’Dwyer. “But Eamon O’Shea, as he says himself, is the least important person in the whole set-up. We’re going out playing and there’s maybe 40 people involved in the whole set-up.
“He only wants us to go out and hurl for Tipperary, that’s all.”
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