Ballymena Times Exclusive Interview with Ballymena RFC chairman “Opinion: Big decision shows how tough referees’ job is”

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With referees now micked up in contact with linesmen the room for infringement or refereeing error is being reduced all the time. The Ballymena Times has published the following article which just brings how tight the margins are in a difficult game to referee

article begins…….. Opinion: Big decision shows how tough referees’ job is

There has been a fairly long break between the last All Ireland game, against Bruff on December 7, and last weekend’s resumption of the campaign, when the team travelled to take on Derry, also challenging for one of the promotion spots.

Coming into the Christmas break Ballymena sat on top of the Division 2A league table, although nearest rivals, Galwegians, had a game in hand, which they managed to win.

After Saturday’s game in Derry, which Ballymena lost by 8 points to 5, we have now slid down the table and are currently occupying fourth position, which is a great disappointment to the team, coaches and supporters.

Professionalism in the game has changed many things, but it is basic tenet that the referee is always right, even when he is wrong.

It is a notoriously difficult game to referee, and the fact that the professional game has introduced the Television Match Official (TMO) is a clear indication that the result of a game, or even of an entire league campaign, can hinge on a single refereeing decision.

That is the situation that the Ballymena team found itself on Saturday in the match against Derry, which, with minutes to go, seemed to be heading for a fairly dull draw.

But in the dying seconds full back Rory Drysdale put a beautifully placed grubber kick to within inches of the Derry goal line, forcing the defence to turn to retrieve a difficult situation. Those of us who were standing close to the action, both Derry and Ballymena supporters, were convinced that the defending winger fell on the ball and slid across his goal line with it, which would have meant a five metre scrum for the attacking side, Ballymena……. follow the link for the rest of the article

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