Probe as row blights clash in Tralee

Kerry GAA chiefs are set to investigate ugly scenes which developed at half-time in Saturday’s county senior hurling championship quarter-final between Ballyduff and Causeway at Austin Stack Park, Tralee.

Players from both sides became embroiled in a melee as the sides left the field and headed for the dressing rooms under the main stand. The incident had spectators on their feet, as referee Cathal McAllister from Cork and his linesmen stayed on the pitch.

The bust-up was sparked by a clash between two players, which was not spotted by the referee or his officials, minutes before the interval.

When the players returned for the second half, McAllister singled out a player from both sides, Martin O’Connor (Ballyduff) and Anthony Fealy (Causeway) and issued yellow cards before he restarted the game. The bad blood appeared to be present before the throw when Ballyduff full-back Padraig O’Grady and Causeway full-forward Eamonn Fitzgerald engaged in a scuffle.

Ballyduff boss Gerry Wallace said he did not see the incident but “officialdom has a part to play” ensuring player safety in such situations.

Wallace said: “During half- time I was on the field with the chairman of the club, and my two selectors and it was brought to my attention that something had happened.

“I spoke to the referee after half-time and asked him did something happen there and it was unclear to him. Both teams seemed to enter the tunnel at the same time.

“Feelings were running high but I did not ask anyone because we needed to focus on the second half. That is what officials and stewards are there for, to ensure players are separated in tight areas like exits and entrances to dressing rooms so officialdom has a part to play. But I have no qualms with the referee, he did a fine job and Causeway contributed to a massive game and I am sure the replay will be no exception. But to prevent this time of incident happening again, I will keep my players on the pitch at half-time, next time out.”

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