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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 28 February, 2020

Richie Hogan: 'In my opinion, there was absolutely no way it was a sending-off'

The Kilkenny star reacted to that All-Ireland final red card on Off The Ball this evening.

Hogan was given his marching orders in the first half on Sunday.
Hogan was given his marching orders in the first half on Sunday.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

KILKENNY STAR RICHIE Hogan has opened up about his All-Ireland final red card, saying that there is “absolutely no way” he should have been sent off for a high tackle on Tipperary’s Cathal Barrett.

Liam Sheedy’s Premier side were 3-25 to 0-20 winners over the Cats at Croke Park on Sunday, and Hogan’s 33rd-minute dismissal came as a huge talking point from the clash of the old rivals.

Referee James Owens flashed red at Hogan for the late, high challenge with the scoreline reading 1-8 to 0-10 at the time. From there, the momentum swung in Tipperary’s favour and the game escaped 14-man Kilkenny.

And on Off The Ball this evening, seven-time All-Ireland winner Hogan addressed the incident publicly for the first time. 

“I watched it back there this morning,” he said. “I stayed away from it earlier on — but I was going in for a shoulder on Cathal Barrett, he side-stepped inside and my momentum took me through.

In my opinion, there was absolutely no way it was a sending-off. I suppose that’s the way these things go. Sometimes these decisions go for you and sometimes they go against.

“It was clear as day to anyone at the match, what I was trying to do,” he added.

“The first thing I thought was to turn around and get back and get after the ball, but when I saw him on the ground I thought ‘Alright, 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 [Owens] had taken the wrong card, to be honest with you.”

The Danesfort man explained how he was “amazed” and “astounded” to be handed his marching orders and how he’s almost certain Owens said it was a “late challenge”.

“It’s disappointing. But hurling is an incredibly difficult game to referee. I wouldn’t be pointing any blame at James Owens, Cathal Barrett or anyone really. It’s just a difficult situation.”

He continued: “Somebody said to me yesterday that they were talking about an elbow. Any talk about an elbow there is absolutely crazy, my elbow does not connect with him at all – my shoulder absolutely does.

“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 36-inch long hurley if your arm is not bent?

“My technique in shouldering was absolutely right – I just didn’t hit his shoulder.”

Hogan noted that himself and Kilkenny must move on from the incident and the decider loss:

“That’s the way it goes. We get up and get on with it. We would never look to it as an excuse, or use it as an excuse.

“For myself [...] 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.”

And on his own future in the Black and Amber, 2014 Hurler of the Year Hogan concluded:

“I’ll sit down and I’ll think about it. For me, if we had won it Sunday, it would have been a nice way to maybe sign off like that. I’ll do whatever I can to play for another year and we’ll see from there.

Nobody wants to finish their career like that. Maybe it’s a good thing, maybe that decision that I would have had to make over the winter has probably been made already for me. 

“I think to be honest with you, I owe it to myself to do whatever I can to play again.”

You can listen to the full half-hour long interview here.

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Emma Duffy

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