Wadding ‘thrilled’ to ref final

WATERFORD’S Michael Wadding last night expressed delight after his appointment as referee for the All-Ireland SHC final between Kilkenny and Tipperary on September 5.

The Roanmore club man has taken charge of championship deciders at minor (1997) and U21 (2003) level and was also on duty for this year’s Leinster SHC final clash between Kilkenny and Galway.

Wadding, who has been refereeing for 21 years, admits the role ‘overshadows’ past achievements.

“I was thrilled to find out (this news). I suppose getting the chance to referee an All-Ireland final is akin to a player being picked to play in one.

“Having been involved on three previous occasions — twice as stand-by referee and once as a linesman — I know how special a day it is, and being chosen to actually referee this final obviously overshadows anything that has gone before. I would like to acknowledge the support of my wife and family and my club,” he said.

His match day back up team will consist of stand-by referee Brian Gavin (Offaly), linesman James Owens (Wexford) and sideline official Cathal McAllister (Cork).

However, GAA chiefs have opted against appointing high-profile referees as umpires for the final, as had been suggested in the wake of the controversial end to the Leinster SFC final between Meath and Louth.

Instead Wadding’s quartet of umpires — Noel Cowman, Pat Byrne, Thomas Martin and Noel Crowley — are all Roanmore club mates. Anthony Stapleton (Laois) will oversee the minor meeting of Clare and Kilkenny.

*All-Ireland MHC final: Stand-by referee: Tony Carroll (Offaly); Linesman: Garrett Duffy (Antrim) Sideline official: Tommy Ryan (Tipperary); Umpires: Martin Fitzpatrick, Adrian O’Brien (both Kilcotton), Willie Byrne (Rathdowney/Errill) and Martin Phelan (Mountrath).

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