Teething problems may force delay of Hawkeye’s debut in Thurles

There are increasing doubts that the HawkEye score detection system will be ready for the Munster SHC quarter-final between Clare and Limerick in Thurles on May 24.

The technology had been pencilled in for the game after recent tests were conducted at Semple Stadium . They followed feasibility studies earlier in the year. Construction work has also been done in the corner of the Kinane (Old) Stand and Town End to facilitate a big screen under the TV broadcast studio.

HawkEye was last week expected to be trialled in a non-live capacity for Sunday’s Division 1 hurling and camogie finals. However, that did not take place and sources have told the Irish Examiner it is now unlikely the system will be in place for the Clare-Limerick clash.

It is felt a date later in the championship is more likely. Waterford’s footballers travel to Thurles on May 31 to face Tipperary in a Munster SFC quarter-final. Should Tipperary win that game, Kerry will make the trip to face them on June 14. The hurlers of Waterford and Cork face off again in Semple Stadium in a June 7 Munster semi-final.

Depending on results and agreements, Thurles could host a senior provincial final in July although it may turn out the system isn’t put into use until the All-Ireland quarter-finals, which Thurles has hosted the last four seasons.

The need for the technology outside of Croke Park again became apparent in Thurles on Sunday when one of referee Johnny Ryan’s umpires incorrectly waved a Bill Cooper second half scoring effort wide. TV replays clearly showed the Cork forward’s shot travelling between the two posts.

A delay in HawkEye’s installation would come as no surprise.

It was first trialled in a non-live capacity in Croke Park five years ago but did not come into operation until the 2013 Leinster SFC quarter-final between Kildare and Offaly.


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