Following two consecutive 6-point defeats in four days in Ballybofey in two separate competitons, two Tyrone sleuths have made the sensational claim that Donegal’s management team employed the use of a rain and wind machine to defeat the Red Hands, a device left over from the days of Jimmy McGuinness’s reign.
The machine, which was built by McGuinness by hand and used during county training to harden his squad even further, has over 44 settings including ‘gale force’, ‘tropical’ and ‘unusually mild’. Our sources tell us that McGuinness was reluctant to hand over the keys but finally relented when Rory Gallagher threatened him with writing an autobiography and getting his nemesis Declan Bogue to ghost it.
Tyrone supporter Conleith Mackle from the Moy confirmed the conspiracy theories are probably true:
“During the NFL game last Saturday I could hear a loud droning noise coming from behind the town goals but I just thought it was the Donegal accent. It was dark so I couldn’t see but the rain was acting strangely. A lot of it was going upwards.”
Tyrone also lost their U21 quarter final to Donegal at the same venue 4 days later, by the same margin, in similar conditions. Mackle added,
“I stood at the town end goals this time and, although dark again, the droning was louder and I could see these men in suits running around a field using what looked like joysticks to control something. They even started arguing when someone pressed something they shouldn’t have. That might explain the sudden burst of heat which touched 37 degrees celcius for three minutes.”
Donegal officials were unavailable to comment but were spotted throwing a blanket over something this morning.
A Tyrone man has admitted he queued for 12 hours outside a GAA ground in Donegal in heavy fog in February this year, unaware that the game had been cancelled earlier in the day.
Tommy McGaharan, an 81-year old Sligo native but living in Tyrone for 60 years, was finally made aware of the postponement when a late-night reveller recognised him from standing in the same spot 5 hours earlier on his way to the pub.
McGaharan explained why he came forward now, four months after the debacle:
“I just don’t want this happening to anyone else. I eventually completely thawed out just a couple of weeks ago so I’m fit to talk about the ordeal now.”
The East Tyrone resident explained how he drove 120 miles through freezing fog for the McKenna Cup fixture, setting out at 5am and averaging 25-30mph in his Morris Minor before reaching Ballybofey a few minutes before throw-in at 2pm.
“My motor doesn’t have a radio so I wasn’t aware of the postponing. I did think it odd that I was the only one queuing up outside the turnstile but sure these McKenna Cup games can attract small crowds at that time of the year.”
McGaharan now recalls receiving strange looks from passers-by as he stared intently at the turnstile for it to open:
“After a few hours I did start to have doubts but just thought maybe I’d gotten the throw-in time wrong. It wasn’t until 2am in pitch dark and at temperatures of -9 that a young fellow staggered my direction and told me to catch myself on and that the game had been rescheduled for the following Wednesday.”
The unlucky McGaharan’s weekend was further ruined when he checked in to a bed and breakfast at 3am only to sleep in and miss the breakfast completely.
Tyrone officials have scotched rumours that a Galbally 65-year old is to be a surprise inclusion in tomorrow’s team v Donegal, going as far as to say it was “pure balls”. The story that had been doing the rounds in Galbally and Kildress since the start of the week is that Danny Murphy had been called up to the panel because of his ‘long-kicking’ and ‘high-catching’ as well as being ‘crafty’. Murphy himself appears to have done little to rubbish the rumours by raising his eyebrows and saying ‘you never know’ whilst pretending to jog short distances around his garden. Local hedge-cutter, Tom Loughran, still thinks there’s something in it:
“Listen, there’s no smoke without fire. Danny was a deadly footballer in his day and once scored 0-4 from play against Drumragh in 1979, in their field! People say he scored 0-3 with his right leg and headed one over. It’s the stuff of legend around here and he’s never had to buy a pint since, and him a tee-totaller. I’d say Mickey Harte has been a bit worried about the young lads in his panel and has asked Danny to dig him out. I saw him at the sports day last year and he still has a deadly kick on him. There was a stray buck cat annoying people and he ran over and booted it over the pavillion. Wemen swooned.”
Tyrone officials though have played down the rumour and told us to “catch ourselves on” calling the rumour “the biggest pile of dung they’d ever heard”.
“Pure balls. Why the hell would Mickey draft in a 65-year old from Galbally and there’s Mugsy fixing fences with his togs on raring to go? Anyway, Danny’s blind in one eye and has a bad limp. This is just stupid. I’m putting the phone down.”
Danny has refused to confirm whether he’ll be running out onto the Ballybofey turf, simply telling us “when the seagulls follow the boat, it’s because they’d be thinking it’s the right way to go.”