King of the whistle
Owens to handle his first All-Ireland
Wexford's James Owens will officiate at the All-Ireland Senior hurling championship final between reigning champions, Kilkenny, and Galway, at Croke Park on Sunday, September 6.
It will be the first time Owens will take charge of the high-profile clash.
It has been a steady rise for the Askamore-Kilrush clubman in recent years, having taken charge of county finals in both hurling and football in his native county in all grades before going on to steadily rise through the ranks at inter-county level.
Owens will be no stranger to Croke Park. Last year he took charge of the Cork v. Tipperary semi-final meeting, while in 2013 he was the man in the middle for Cork's victory over Dublin.
On St. Patrick's Day this year he was in charge of the Senior club final between Ballyhale Shamrocks and Kilmallock.
The experienced inter-county referee has already officiated at one of Galway's championship games this year, their quarter-final win over Cork, while he also took charge of the Tipperary v. Waterford Munster final.
James Dunbar, John Clarke, David Owens (all Askamore-Kilrush) and Ian Plunkett (Marshalstown-Castledockrell) will be umpires for the decider.
The stand-by referee is Johnny Ryan (Tipperary), while the other linesman will be James McGrath (Westmeath), and the sideline official on duty will be Owen Elliott (Antrim).
Carlow's Paud O'Dwyer (Palatine) will take charge of the Galway v. Tipperary Minor decider. His umpires will be John Kelly, Paul Treacy, Tommy Fitzharris and Gerry O'Neill.
Wicklow's John Keenan will be stand-by referee, with the other linesman being Justin Heffernan (Wexford), while David Hughes (Carlow) is the sideline official.
O'Dwyer is a former Rathgarogue-Cushinstown clubman and played inter-county football for his native Wexford.