30 Sept 2022

THROWBACK THURSDAY: The year we 'lost' a semi-final but won the All-Ireland

1998 was a controversial year for hurling, and that was down to a refereeing mishap that saw a semi-final replay between Clare and Offaly blown up early. 

Offaly had drawn their initial semi-final with the Banner, 1-13 apiece, but the replay was an altogether different affair. Clare were leading comfortably, notably because of the scoring prowess of one Jamesie O'Connor, but Ollie Baker and Anthony Daly also got on the score sheet that afternoon in Croke Park. 

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Offaly were on the comeback trail in the second half and had hauled themselves back to within three points when referee Jimmy Cooney sounded the final whistle before the 70 minutes had elapsed.

Clare celebrated but Offaly supporters began congregating on the pitch at Croke Park, and eventually staged a form of sit-down protest. They had been wronged, as had the players, and justice was done when the GAA re-fixed the game for the following week.

Joe Dooley led the charge with five points in the rescheduled game, and Offaly prevailed on a scoreline of 0-16 to 0-13. Offaly advanced and in a repeat of that year's Leinster final, Offaly made amends and beat the old foe Kilkenny by six points, 2-16 to 1-13, Brian Whelehan hitting an incredible 1-6. 

Scroll back up to relive the event of that day against Clare and the farcical circumstances that almost ended Offaly dream of All-Ireland number four in 1998.

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