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Under attack water carriers get 'clamped'

THE GAA has followed up on moves to keep water carriers off the pitch - by banning the same water carriers from throwing bottles to players on the field of play, writes Frank Roche.

The Central Competitions Control Committee has decided "in the interest of safety of players and spectators" that this practice be stopped immediately. County boards have been instructed to relay this new directive to team officials ahead of their next match.

The move has already met with opposition at grassroots level. "Counties, who were already infuriated over the fact that the water carriers can no longer enter the field with water, are now being hit with a ban on throwing water into players," complained one county board chairman.

"How is a centre-back or centre-forward supposed to make it to the sideline, have a drink of water and then make it back into position before play recommences, especially in such a fast game as hurling?

"It's probably not a huge issue now but, on a hot championship day in Croke Park, it could become one," the official predicted.