No rules governing whether referee should say how much time is left in a game
But officials would be expected to answer a reasonable question reasonably
Cork players surround referee Cormac Reilly complaining that the official blew up too early in Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter-final game against Mayo.
“We would expect a referee to answer a reasonable question reasonably,” according to Croke Park’s Pat Doherty, who is secretary of the National Referees’ Committee. “So if a player asks ‘how long is left’, a referee would be expected to tell him even if just to say, ‘look at the clock’.
“It’s a coincidence that this has arisen in both of Mayo’s last two championship matches at Croke Park but overall it’s a once-in-a-blue-moon occurrence.”
In last year’s All-Ireland final against Dublin, Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor pointed a free at the end of the match to cut the margin to the minimum, 1-14 to 2-12, but referee Joe McQuillan blew for full time as soon as Dublin secured the kick-out.
Last weekend, controversy arose when Cork were awarded a free with 71.52 on the clock after Paul Kerrigan was taken down just outside the square by Lee Keegan. Both free-taker Colm O’Neill and selector Ciarán O’Sullivan spoke to referee Cormac Reilly before O’Neill kicked a point to leave just a score between the teams, 1-19 to 2-15. At that stage the match was virtually over, as the additional time signalled was two minutes.
After the match O’Neill said Reilly had told him that there was “a minute or so left” when asked. On playback it’s not clear what the precise time was when the player asked the question (RTÉ were showing a replay of the foul) but it’s likely that request was at roughly 72.00.
Additional minuteMayoRob Hennelly
This actually was “a minute or so” after Reilly had answered the question. Cork manager Brian Cuthbert backed his player’s judgment but was magnanimous about the outcome.
“Look, you’re going to have calls for and against you, some days they go with you; some days they don’t. We’re certainly not looking at the referee as to why we’re not going on to the semi-final.
“The lesson for us is, don’t put yourself in a position where you’re hanging on for a last-minute free to decide whether you’re going to have to go for a goal or wait for more time.”