Meath manager Andy McEntee. Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
Time Keeping

'It’s one rule for the Dublins and bigger names in this world and a different rule for everybody else'

Andy McEntee was frustrated with the lack of extra time played at the end of stoppage-time.

MEATH BOSS ANDY McEntee voiced his frustration at the inconsistencies of time-keeping after Mayo’s one-point victory in Navan yesterday.

Four minutes of added time was indicated by the fourth official at the end of the second-half.

There was a 30 second stoppage in the 72nd minute for Mayo sub Bryan Walsh to receive treatment for a head injury, but referee Sean Hurson didn’t add on any extra time to the allotted four minutes.

Thomas O’Reilly sent over a free on 73:45, apparently under the impression that Meath would have time to get an equaliser. When Rob Hennelly kicked the ball back into play, Hurson sounded the full-time whistle.

“I didn’t get a chance to talk with him (O’Reilly),” said McEntee after the game. “I’d say everybody in the stand thought there was going to be another kick-out. And it goes two seconds over and he blows the whistle.

“All I want, all every manager wants, is rules to be applied consistently, and then you know where you stand. It’s one rule for the Dublins and the bigger names in this world and it’s a different rule for everybody else.

“There’s enough rules out there if referees would implement them on a consistent basis,” he continued.

“And that’s all anybody wants. I could see James Horan getting frustrated. I’m massively frustrated. I can’t believe…the amount of breaks that were there in those four minutes of extra-time and we don’t play two seconds of extra-time?”

sean-hurson Referee Sean Hurson. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

Time-keeping has been a hot topic with inter-county managers so far in 2020. There have been repeated calls for the GAA to take the clock out of the referees’ hands like in Ladies football where a hooter system is employed.

On Saturday night, the Dublin-Monaghan game went into the 10th minute of stoppage-time after six were initially announced. Referee Ciaran Branagan added the extra time following a number of stoppages after the 70th minute.

“Dublin get two minutes last night to get an equalising score,” said McEntee.

“There’s a level of inconsistency all over the place. And they want referees to get respect. They’ve got to show a little bit too.”

Monaghan boss Seamus McEneaney was also unhappy with the extra few minutes given to Dublin on Saturday night.

“Listen, there was six minutes on the clock,” McEneaney said. ”There was nine minutes played. I’ve enough problems of my own to sort out without worrying about the problems that Ciaran Branagan had tonight.”

McEntee said the head-injury rule, which dictates that play must be stopped when a player goes down holding his head, is being exploited by teams to waste time.

“We’ve now introduced a rule where the game has to be stopped if a fella goes down with a head injury. And let’s be honest about it, everybody is told to go down, you hold your head and the game is stopped.

briain-mac-mathuna-dejected-after-the-game Meath's Bryan McMahon dejected after the game. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

“That’s what happened there today. Nothing wrong with that chap. He knows that, we all know that. Referees are probably in a difficult situation in that regard, but he’s supposed to play on.

“He’s supposed to play on. If that guy is lying on the ground for 30 seconds holding his head….30 seconds. You get two scores in 30 seconds.”

He also hit out at Croke Park for their failure to make the new rules such as the advanced mark clear to squads before the season began.

“Lookit, nobody knows the rules. Nobody knows the rules. We start a competition and the rules aren’t even set out a week before the competition is starting. They weren’t even set in stone a week before the competition starts.

“We looked for clarification on certain fouls after the Tyrone game and the response I got back from the refereeing committee in Croke Park is pitiful. So please don’t talk to me, that’s all I want to say about rules.”

On the issue of time-keeping, Mayo boss James Horan said it’s becoming increasingly difficult for managers to predict how much injury-time will be played at the end of games.

“It’s hard to know for sure because there’s usually so many subs in the second half and 30 seconds is added on for each sub so it could be from two to three minutes to seven or eight minutes and it is very hard to know what is coming at you.

“And you are standing there on the sideline and you hear someone call out…. It is very hard to know what it is for or what it actually is.

“I don’t know what’s the solution but it can be very frustrating particularly for Andy and I have been in the same situation where you are up in the game and you are willing the clock down, it can be very frustrating but look there are inconsistencies in refereeing and there always will be in the game we play. Sometimes it is with you and sometimes it’s not.”

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