GAA Football

Back in the day - GAA's ‘Operation Crackdown' is a red and yellow card fiasco - May 9 1999

BLOCK BID...Monaghan’s John Paul Mone dives to try and block Derry’s Fergal Crossan during the Dr McKenna Cup semi-final at Castleblayney. Derry won the match 2-10 to 1-9.
The Irish News Archive

DAY one of the GAA’s ‘Operation Crackdown’ collapsed into red and yellow card fiasco with six players sensationally sent off as Carlow crashed out of the Championship.

Cork referee Niall Barrett showed the red card to no fewer than four Carlow players.

They finished the game with only 11 players.

He also sent off two from Westmeath, including Rory O’Connell, who only the day before completed a one-month ban arising from the GAC investigation into February’s infamous ‘tunnel incident’ with Wicklow.

Barrett brandished 20 yellow card cautions into the bargain as this Leinster Senior Football preliminary clash finished in extraordinary farce at Dr Cullen Park.

A late goal by Martin Flanagan clinched victory for Westmeath.

And, with Dublin’s Jason Sherlock also given the line during the NFL final defeat by Cork, played in front of less than 10,000 spectators at Pairc Ui Chaoimh, the GAA’s red card day totalled a remarkable seven sendings off.

RTE radio match commentator Brian Carthy said during one report, as Westmeath’s O’Connell received his marching orders, that he had “never seen anything like it.”

Barrett’s application of the new tough approach as laid down by Croke Park’s directive was a hot topic for discussion afterwards.

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Dr McKenna Cup semi-final Monaghan 1-9 Derry 2-10

Derry make light of poor conditions

DERRY overcame horrendous playing conditions with an impressive second-half performance helping them to a comfortable four-point victory over Monaghan.

Monaghan had led by 1-7 to 1-3 at the break but Derry used the strong wind and driving rain to good effect in the final quarter and the management will have been delighted with eight different players getting on the score sheet over the hour’s play.

The Oak Leafers will now play Armagh in the final on Sunday, with Omagh the likely venue.

Both teams yesterday made wholesale changes from the sides selected for the match programme.

Monaghan had to make do without midfielder Frank McEneaney and Joe Coyle as well as Declan Smyth who picked up injuries in Friday’s night’s challenge victory over Wicklow.

The facial injury Enda Muldoon sustained last Monday did indeed prevent him from lining out giving Ronan Rocks a chance to impress in midfield. Gary Coleman, Gavin Diamond, Fergal Crossan and Barry Dillon also came into Derry’s starting line-up.

With the championship just around the corner neither camp wanted to show their hands and both counties can expect to field much stronger line-ups when it really counts.

Monaghan: J Sullivan, D McArdle, D McDermott, N Marron, E Murphy (0-1), S Mullan, J Conlon, G McGuirk (0- 1), James Coyle, P Treanor, P O’Connor, JP Mone, S McGinnity (1-5, 3 frees), D McKiernan (0-1), P Duffy (0-1)

Subs: P McKenna for P O’Connor (27 mins), M Daly for P Treanor (34), B Morgan for JP Mone (40)

Derry: S O’Kane, R Lynch, SM Lockhart, B Dillon, F Crossan, D O’Neill, G Coleman (1-1), R Rocks (0-2), J McBride (0-1), G Diamond (0-1), D Dougan (0-1), E Burns (0-1), J Brolly (0-2, both frees), D Bateson, A Lagan (1-1)

Ref: Gerry Lynch (Fermanagh)

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