This story contains strong language and is not suitable for younger readers.
The County Board of the Derry GAA are holding an investigation into an unsavoury incident in Clady at the weekend in which it has been alleged that a referee was verbally abused by players, officials and spectators.
The disciplinary council has said it will adopt a zero-tolerance approach but will also take into account the tense nature of the clash which was between Greenlough’s Reserve team and their bitter rivals from Culnady Thirds.
Reports say that the game was being played in a tough but sporting atmosphere until one Greenlough forward was ‘blown-up’ for over-carrying, midway through the second half. The player concerned is purported to have lashed out at the referee saying, “Was it really five steps? I could have sworn it was only three!”
That was merely the catalyst as further streams of invective ensued including, “Goodness, that’s unfortunate for us.” “Oh no, that puts the cat amongst the pigeons” and the provocative “Just when it looked like a score might have been on!”
The behaviour of some of the Culnady team was less than helpful with one witness claiming their captain, who should have been setting a good example, instead interjected with, “Yes I understand it was a close call but referees should always give the benefit of the doubt to defenders.”
It was at this point that the trouble spread to the terraces with a disgruntled but as yet unidentified fan commenting to his wife, “Harrumph!”