Monday 11 December 2017

Back door offers much to minnows

Eugene McGee

Eugene McGee

TRADITION is the cause of many strange happenings in the GAA, some good, some not so good, but it came as a shock to many followers in the two counties when the draw for the qualifiers threw neighbours Longford and Leitrim together in the All-Ireland championship for the first time in the 125-year history of the GAA.

Little wonder there was extra bite when the two sides met in Carrick-on-Shannon on a glorious summer’s evening, and who could have imagined that there would have been a delayed start in order to cater for the large crowd as seven o’clock neared. This is the sort of thing that is only supposed to happen to the ‘big’ counties such as Dublin, Kerry or Cork.

Outsiders who often dread, or possibly look forward to, long-standing local derbies between various pairs of the top teams, need not have worried about nasty or unseemly behaviour in this local encounter. True, they have often met in the National League, but the absence of a championship clash meant that nasty overtones were absent on Saturday night.

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