We all know of GAA teams who like to take a few extra minutes in the dressing room at half time in order to get a psychological advantage on the opposition. It's hard to know exactly what is gained in those moments of extended privacy, but it's certainly annoying for the opposing team, the supporters and the referee, who are all patiently waiting for the match to resume. Especially this time of year, when the weather is dismal, there are few things more annoying than a team squeezing a couple bonus minutes out of the halftime break.
Last night in Meath, one team learned that you can overstay your welcome in the dressing room. It was an U20s semifinal between St Ultans/Cortown Gaels and St Patrick's in Cortown. The score was 1-2 to 0-1 to the Stamullen GAA club at the half. After the allotted break time, St Ultans/Cortown Gaels but St Pats did not appear. Referee Keith Sheerin eventuall got fed up waiting for St Pats to emerge from the dressing room, and according to witness Davy Rispin of We Are Meath, decided to inaugurate the second half without St Pats on the field. So St Ultans/Cortown Gaels did what you'd expect and strolled down the pitch and scored an uncontested goal.
Mad scenes in Cortown as St Pats fail to emerge from the dressing rooms for the second half, Referee Keith Sheerin throws the ball up in the middle of the field and St Ultans/Cortown Gaels run the ball into an empty net for a goal. Brilliant and ballsy referring 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/yzWoI98fff
— David Rispin (@Davy_Rispin) December 10, 2021
You can see the goal being scored here on this shaky footage.
— David Rispin (@Davy_Rispin) December 11, 2021
Interestingly, the Cortown Twitter admin noted that Pats stayed on the pitch for the second half water break.
— Cortown GFC (@CortownGFC) December 10, 2021
In the end, the goal had no major reckoning in the match as St Pats won by a score of 1-7 to 1-3 and advance to the county final next weekend.
It was still fascinating approach from the referee, though there has been a debate on Meath GAA Twitter in the last 12 hours whether his decision to resume play was a fair one. We look forward to a clarification from the GAA