IN 2009, the GAA moved to put an end to pitch invasions by supporters. The perceived wisdom at the time was that for Gaelic sports to be internationalised, they must mirror etiquette displayed by other international sports and pitch invasions were too primal for airing on a global stage. Of course it was also at a time when health and safety had gone mad. I'd never heard of anyone being injured running onto a pitch to congratulate or commiserate their friends in all my early years, that is, until 2010. When the final whistle blew on March 17 and Crossmaglen Rangers won their fifth All-Ireland Club title, the customary pitch invasion began. The first person to enter the pitch was man-handled in a way befitting of a black card offence. As he fell to the floor, the squeals of pain could be heard over the roaring crowd. No-one else was prevented from entering the pitch on that day after that event. We later found out he broke his leg in the collision, which was ironic given the stewards … [Read more...] about John McEntee: Can GAA keep a lid on emotions?
Crossmaglen gaa pitch
SO another Ulster Club SFC has drawn to a close and anotherfirst-time winner emerges victorious in their pursuit of the Seamus McFerran Cup.Interestingly, since 2000 only Loup and Gaoth Dobhair are newcomers to the high table, both of whom were particularly boosted by wins over Crossmaglen Rangers along the way.Back then, Loup were a youthful yet experienced side, ably led by Johnny McBride and Paul McFlynn, who were two of Derry's most intelligent players of that era.Of course, we should not forget they were also managed by the one and only Malachy O'Rourke, the current Monaghan manager.Malachy is one of the few inter-county managers whose reputation as an excellent manager was forged by repeated success at club level across different clubs and counties.Back in my playing days, I remember harbouring an intense dislike for players and managers I never met nor knew, and all because their teams had this knack of out-playing us, ofout-thinking us and ultimately scoring more than us when … [Read more...] about John McEntee column: Ulster finalists Gaoth Dobhair and Scotstown deserved a better surface than the one they got