Ugly scenes mar league curtain-raiser

 

Some of the most shocking scenes witnessed on a GAA pitch in recent years marred this afternoon's National Football League clash between Tyrone and Dublin in Omagh with the action punctuated by a number of mass brawls.

In between the fighting, sporadic bouts of football broke out, with Dublin running out three-point winners, but this match will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Dublin's Alan Brogan and Colin Holmes of Tyrone received their marching orders for their parts in the most serious incident, five minutes into the second-half, but in truth referee Paddy Russell could have sent any one of a dozen players to the line.

Tyrone's Stephen O'Neill and Dublin's Denis Bastick also saw red before the finish while Russell handed out yellow-cards to countless others.

A melee involving up to ten players broke out within the minutes of the throw-in, setting the tempo for a ill-tempered afternoon.

Rusell managed to keep a lid on proceedings until half-time but shortly afterwards all hell broke loose. Brogan was dismissed for striking and seemed intent on carrying on the fighting on the sidelines, with the trouble spilling over among substitutes and officials. When peace was finally restored Holmes was also sent-off.

The GAA are sure to review television pictures of the match with lengthy suspensions likely to be handed out if the main instigators can be identified.

National Football League Results

Division 1A
Tyrone 1-6 Dublin 1-9
Offaly 0-12 Cork 1-5
Monaghan 0-10 Fermanagh 2-9

Division 1B
Down 0-15 Meath 1-8
Armagh 0-10 Kildare 0-12
Derry 1-11 Galway 0-7
Laois 1-13 Wexford  0-10

Division 2A
Clare 1-11 Carlow 0-8
Donegal 0-11 Leitrim 1-8
London 1-6 Longford 1-16
Limerick 1-16 Roscommon 1-5

Division 2B
Cavan 0-10 Louth 2-9
Antrim 2-14  Wicklow 3-10
Westmeath 3-23 Waterford 1-7
Sligo 1-9 Tipperary 3-8