'It's not good enough' - More calls to take timekeeping out of referees' hands

Former Roscommon boss Kevin McStay brought his argument to The Sunday Game last night, saying the issue has been a ‘struggle’.

mcstay The Sunday Game. Kevin McStay on The Sunday Game last night. The Sunday Game.

THERE HAVE BEEN more calls made to take timekeeping out of referees’ hands in the GAA.

“It’s not just this game, it’s in a lot of the big championship games this year,” former Roscommon manager Kevin McStay said on The Sunday Game last night.

The issue of timekeeping, it’s been a struggle. 

The game being analysed was Mayo’s one-point All-Ireland SFC qualifier win over Armagh, and McStay had a list of stats at hand from the second half of the Castlebar clash.

Taking into account the time used for injuries and substitutions, he had tallied up 10 minutes — but only four minutes of additional time were announced as the clock struck 70.

time The Sunday Game. The Sunday Game.

“The technology is there,” he said after explaining his stats. “The referees have the latest technology in their match watches. It’s a vibrate technology to start and stop the game.

“It’s not good enough. You see the pain that [Arnagh boss Kieran] McGeeney is obviously in — and others, there were other managers this season. But it’s not good enough. Five years ago, in 2014, we were here debating the exact same thing.

“It hasn’t moved on and they’re going to have to resolve that issue.”

Tyrone All-Ireland winner Sean Cavanagh added: “We continually ask the question, ‘Why is the referee in charge of the time?’ 

“In lots of other sports, it’s operated so well — in basketball we have a timekeeper doing that…”

Des Cahill: So take it out of their hands, you say? 

“Yeah,” Cavanagh continued. “But we talked about this five, six years ago and here we are again.

“Okay, [referee] Maurice Deegan didn’t have a good game last night. The Armagh fans weren’t happy he was appointed to the game in the first place and they certainly weren’t happy after the game. He made a number of harsh calls.

“But the timekeeping… you train for nine or ten months, and the Armagh guys are leaving Castlebar last night within an inch of possibly progressing. They’re now left to wonder, only for the timekeeping.”

“Four minutes announced,” McStay interjected to conclude, “and two and-a-half times that, we’ve absolutely established, should have been played.”

On Saturday night, Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney wasn’t happy with Deegan’s performance and couldn’t hide his disappointment speaking to Sky Sports after the Orchard’s exit.

“When you’re infallible, you never learn from your mistakes,” he said. “That’s probably the best way I can put it.

“The fellas did everything that was asked of them. I think they put their heart and soul into it and played a lovely brand of football. They really go at teams, but they don’t get rewarded for it.

“We had four minutes of extra-time there, with maybe 10 or 11 head injuries. That’s nothing to do with Mayo or James [Horan], that’s not his call. That’s the man in the middle.

“There were more stoppages in that game. But listen, you can’t take away from Mayo.”

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