"To me they are the All-Ireland champions"

July 05, 2022

Tipperary's Paddy McCormack in action against Offaly's Ter Guinan ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

Michael Duignan believes referee Shane Hynes erred in not awarding Offaly a free out before Tipperary scored the winning goal in the dying moments of last Sunday’s All-Ireland MHC final.

Faithful County supporters were livid at the match official’s decision not to award Niall Furlong the free as the tricolours defended a two-point lead in the third minute of injury-time. Offaly manager Leo O’Connor admitted that it left a ‘sour taste’, a view that was echoed by the county board chairman at last evening’s homecoming event in O’Connor Park, Tullamore.

While stressing that there were no “sour grapes” on Offaly’s part, Duignan said: “We have to acknowledge that that decision – and we’re all human, we all make mistakes – that went against them.

“These lads brought everything back today bar the cup. To me they are the All-Ireland champions.

“The whole country got behind them, the same as they did with the U20 footballers last year because they play with that unbelievable Offaly style, that for a small county, we have mesmerised the whole country for the last 50 or 60 years.

“They’re an absolutely exemplary group of young men. Their manners, the respect they have for everybody. The way that they carry themselves.”

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