The Choice of Champions
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Referee Brian Gavin says nothing was going to stop him from seeing out the All-Ireland final.
There were concerns that the Offaly official – who was taking charge of his first Liam McCarthy Cup decider – might not be able to finish the game when he received a nasty gash on the bridge of his nose after he was accidentally struck by Tommy Walsh’s hurl as he attempted to defuse a heated situation involving a number of Kilkenny and Tipperary players just before half-time.
But after a four-minute stoppage, during which he was treated by medics from both teams, the Clara man was able to continue. Had he not been able to do so, Westmeath’s Barry Kelly – who was on linesman duty – would have stepped into the breach.
“Bar I broke a leg, I was going to finish it,” Gavin said on Midlands 103 Radio.
“Lucky enough, I was able to keep going. It took me a long time to get the chance to referee an All-Ireland final, and I’m just happy that I got my rewards in the end.
“The Kilkenny and Tipperary doctors were brilliant. That’s the great thing about the GAA, they came over and got me going again.”