Offaly SFC final referee praised for over-turning red card decision as Tullamore regain title 2 months ago

Offaly SFC final referee praised for over-turning red card decision as Tullamore regain title

Tullamore 1-5 Ferbane 0-6

Tullamore won their second Offaly SFC title in three years with a gutsy display in dire conditions.

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The wind and rain dictated a day that, on the sideline, was epitomised by the Ferbane manager Ger Rafferty, who was kitted out in a pair of wellies.

In such testing environs, a free-flowing, high-scoring contest was always going to be a big ask.

A dog-fight was always going to be the more likely outcome and for Tullamore, in their young centre back John Furlong, grandson of the great Martin Furlong, they had a man who embraced the battle.

Luke Plunkett, meanwhile, made one of the most important contributions of the day, scoring the game's only goal after 13 minutes. That gave Niall Stack's side a buffer, so crucial in a low-scoring game, and it allowed them to keep their opponents at arms' length throughout.

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That being said, Ferbane sub Cian Johnson made a big impact on the game, scoring 0-3 in the second half but it wasn't enough, as his side came up just short.

An interesting flash-point occurred in the second half when, after a collision between them, referee Chris Dwyer showed Paddy Clancy of Ferbane and Diarmuid Egan of Tullamore straight red cards.

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After an incredulous reaction from both players, and a discussion with his umpires, the Clara match official made the decision to over-turn his initial decision, giving both players yellow cards instead.

24 September 2023; Ferbane manager Ger Rafferty during the Offaly County Senior Football Championship final match between Ferbane and Tullamore at Glenisk O'Connor Park in Tullamore, Offaly. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

"To give the referee his dues," said Tomás Ó Flatharta on TG4, "he said to himself, alright, I made a mistake, I'll change the cards. It was a sensible thing to do, and everybody was happy with it."

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Both players shook hands after the incident and moved on with the game, as you will see in the clip above.

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