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GAA appoint first-timer to take charge of this year's All-Ireland hurling decider

Wexford’s James Owens has been tasked with officiating this year’s final between Galway and Kilkenny.

Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

WEXFORD’S JAMES OWENS will officiate this year’s All-Ireland Senior championship final between Kilkenny and Galway at Croke Par on 6th September.

It will be the first time Owens will take charge of the high-profile clash.

It has been a steady rise for him in recent years, however and he’s no stranger no GAA HQ. Last year, he took charge of the semi-final meeting between Cork and Tipperary while in 2013, he was the man in the middle for the Rebels’ memorable win over Dublin.

Earlier this year, Owens was selected to referee the senior club final between Ballyhale Shamrocks and Kilmallock.

The Askamore clubman has officiated a Galway game in this year’s championship already – their quarter-final clash with Cork while he’s also been in charge for the Munster final and the Leinster derby between Laois and Offaly.

James Dunbar, John Clarke, David Owens (all Askamore) and Ian Plunkett (Marshalstown) will be the umpires for this year’s decider. The standby referee is Johnny Ryan (Tipperary) while the other linesman is James McGrath (Westmeath) and the sideline official will be Owen Elliott (Antrim).

Paud

Carlow’s Paud O’Dwyer (Palatine) will take charge of this year’s Minor clash involving Galway and Tipperary.

His umpires on the day will be John Kelly, Paul Treacy, Tommy Fitzharris & Gerry O’Neill all from the Palatine GAA Club.

Wicklow’s John Keenan will be the standby referee, the other linesman is Justin Heffernan (Wexford) and the Sideline Official will be David Hughes (Carlow).

O’Dwyer was at the centre of some controversy earlier in the summer after awarding a goal to Limerick in a senior qualifier against Westmeath. On first viewing, the shot appeared to have gone wide.

After initially criticising him and his umpires for the decision on The Sunday Game, former Cork goalkeeper Donal Og Cusack later apologised after footage emerged which showed Paul Browne’s effort was, in fact, a goal.

Cusack said of O’Dwyer and his team:

I think it’s very important for me…we’ve looked at the tapes during the week…and I think I owe an apology to Paud O’Dwyer and his officials because it looks as likely, or more likely, that I was wrong and he was right.”

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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