Match restarts after waterbreak with one team as St. Gall's are punished 1 year ago

Match restarts after waterbreak with one team as St. Gall's are punished

It's a one minute break for water, lads. Don't take the biscuit.

The temptation is always there when the team huddles up. One last chance for a team talk. A chance to coach. A chance to gee up everyone again because you won't see them for another 14 minutes.

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The reality is that it's just a break for water in the middle of the half. It's 60 seconds long. And that's it.

But St. Gall's paid the ultimate price for taking too long during a second half water break on Wednesday night when the referee restarted the play without them and they conceded a goal.

Locked in a battle with Naomh Éanna, St. Gall's scraped through in the end with just three points to spare and it was this goal that really put it up to them.

There was a mixed reaction to the video initially, the sight of a ball being walked into an empty net is never too appealing. But later, Antrim GAA uploaded the entire water break for clarity.

After 65 seconds, the referee blows for both teams to take the field again.

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Despite Naomh Éanna lining out, St. Gall's stay in a huddle and, after two full minutes, the ref restarts the play.

If referees are consistently punishing this, it is a great thing and serious credit is due for having the conviction to make such a brave call.

If it isn't consistent, however, then it becomes a problem.

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In this case, St. Gall's saw the game out 1-12 to 1-9 and they go on to the quarter-final versus Roger Casements next Tuesday night.

They might've felt hard done by, maybe they can point to other water breaks that weren't punished equally, but the brass tacks are that 55 seconds after the referee asked both teams to come back onto the field, St. Gall's hadn't moved. And when it's a one-minute break, taking nearly 100 per cent more time is far too much time.

By punishing it, the referee has stricken a blow for games all over the country.

Drink your water and get back on the pitch. If you don't, the match will start without you.

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