Richie Power tears into referee after camogie final spells heartache for Kilkenny
Cork edged out Kilkenny to clinch their second successive All-Ireland on Sunday.
From a Kilkenny perspective, the camogie showpiece at Croke Park ended in devastating circumstances as Orla Cotter’s stoppage-time proved decisive.
Cork and Kilkenny were neck-and-neck at 0-13 apiece after 60 minutes. Then, Cotter won a contentious free and nervelessly fired it over the bar to retain the title.
The climax brought a cruel sense of deja vu for Kilkenny, who lost last year's final following injury-time scores from Gemma O’Connor and Julia White. Here, it was further heartache after the engrossing latest chapter in the two counties' rivalry.
And as Cork toasted another triumph after a tense tactical battle in Dublin, Kilkenny were left to bemoan refereeing decisions, particularly the one which ultimately robbed the Cats of redemption.
Richie Power, an eight-time All-Ireland winner with Kilkenny, felt strongly about referee Eamon Cassidy's performance, branding it a 'disgrace' while also taking aim at the timekeeping at the end of the match.
Power has never been afraid to speak his mind and recently wrote about his wish for the GAA to sample video refereeing. Watching his beloved county lose the camogie decider will doubtless strengthen that stance.
Orla Cotter fires over the winning point in the 2018 senior camogie final #rtegaa pic.twitter.com/RnOdJnyLrM
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) September 9, 2018
Kilkenny boss Ann Downey the free as "harsh" but refrained from flat-out condemning Cassidy, with the 12-time All-Ireland winner saying he "has to look at his own performance."
"I've had a look at it in the dressing room with our stats people and without criticising the referee, Orla [Cotter] was falling," Downey said in the post-match press conference. "Our players weren't around her to be quite honest but hadn't touched her. I thought it was a harsh enough free which I suppose you saw from my reaction on the line.
"I thought the free against Davina [Tobin] before that, there were two hard calls on us. I suppose Eamon [Cassidy] has to look at his own performance and judge himself, I'm not going to give out about him. It is what it is, it's not going to change the result. We have to be able to take it on the chin and move on."