McGeeney: Separate players at half-time to avoid melees

Unsavoury scenes unfolded after the final whistle in normal time of today's first quarter-final at Croke Park
McGeeney: Separate players at half-time to avoid melees

TWO REDS: Referee David Coldrick shows a red card to Aidan Nugent of Armagh and Seán Kelly of Galway before the start of extra time of the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between Armagh and Galway at Croke Park, Dublin. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Kieran McGeeney believes the GAA could avoid melees like that which marred the otherwise superb All-Ireland quarter-final between his Armagh side and Galway at Croke Park.

The unsavoury scenes unfolded after the final whistle in normal time with dozens of people, players and otherwise, coming together in unseemly fashion as they made for the Cusack Park tunnel and dressing-rooms prior to extra-time.

For Armagh, it follows a melee that occurred at the end of their Division 1 league game against Donegal in Letterkenny earlier this year when three of their players were cited by the referee only for their suspensions to be then quashed.

“It’s not something you want to see,” said the Armagh boss. “I suppose this year that’s two of them we have sort of been in, it’s unfortunate. But I always think… those things shouldn’t happen, they definitely shouldn’t, but there are a few simple things we could do to stop it. They shouldn’t be going in together at half-time.

“I know how it started but once it starts it can get out of control. It’s not a nice part… I wouldn’t want to see it. But then trial by social media is a very poor way to go. It showed the last time, like, if people had actually sat down and watched the video, they might have got it right.” 

As for the game itself, McGeeney claimed Armagh failed to “put our best foot forward”, saying they were sloppy and hesitant for the middle 40 minutes in normal time. He also said the call to show Greg McCabe a red card with ten minutes to play had been “rough”.

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