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Cross may be punished for melee

By Declan Bogue

Published 15/02/2016

Hotting up: Players clash near the end of the semi-final
Hotting up: Players clash near the end of the semi-final

Both Castlebar Mitchells and Crossmaglen Rangers could come in for punishment from the GAA's Disciplinary bodies following scenes arising from the closing stages of their All-Ireland semi-final.

While Crossmaglen were attempting to take a sideline kick in the final minutes, their efforts were thwarted by a Castlebar selector, and the resulting anger almost spilled into the stands.

Another incident occurred when fans in the crowd refused to return the ball with another sideline waiting to be taken, while eye-witnesses testified that the Crossmaglen water carrier was sprayed with liquid.

The Chairman of the GAA's Competition's Control Committee, George Cartwright, was present at the game and some punishment is likely to follow, although the GAA will await the referee's report as the first source of evidence.

On the sideline incidents, Crossmaglen joint-manager John McEntee commented: "They obviously didn't want the sideline kick taken. They were trying to disrupt that. That doesn't bother us. We had opportunities to hit the free after that, still didn't work out for us."

His Castlebar counterpart Declan Shaw said of the fiery scenes: "As somebody said to me out there, there was no football played in the last four minutes at all.

"There is awful pressure out there, it was tense on both sides and there is so much at stake. You can understand that tension. Crossmaglen are a great team and they don't throw in the towel too easily."

Question marks were also raised at some of the decisions of referee Eddie Kinsella, but McEntee refused to be drawn on his performance, stating: "Tensions run high and emotions run high and I am not impartial, so it wouldn't be fair to judge the referee on that basis."

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