As the Ballinderry contingent left the field last Sunday in Omagh, an unidentified member of their squad shouted a clearly audible comment directed at the celebrating Errigal community on the field. The Ballygawley players and ex-players were initially stumped as to whom the comment was aimed at with the ensuing row boiling over into the long hours of the night outside Quinn’s. Innocent bystander, Phonsie McNally from Keady, was within earshot of the original incident.
“I heard it as clear as you’re talking now. The Errigal players and ex-players were celebrating and mingling in the middle of the field. One of the Ballinderry players shouted across at them ‘and you can feck off ye baldy has-been’. You could see the confusion on the faces of the bald Tyrone lads. Some started pointing at each other with everyone denying it. I can’t beat about the bush. I’m sure it was Peter Canavan he was talking about. But there were at least seven other lads without a hair on their head in that circle, including the fathers and uncles of most of the players. But I think it was Canavan.”
Witnesses say the row escalated during the post-match meal when an unnamed uncle of a family of players in the team went up to buy a pint. Someone shouted “get us one too ye has-been”, resulting in a bar-room brawl never witnessed in Quinn’s since Paddy Russell denied Sean McLoughlin a point in 1995.
“Jaysus it was deadly like. Chairs and glasses were sailing through the midnight air with a whole gang of bald Ballygawley men beating the living daylights out of each other. It was like some kind of bikers’ brawl. All the men with hair just sat there laughing with some betting on the ‘last bald man standing’. Canavan managed to last the pace but you couldn’t help but feel he was the cause of all this. I’m sure Muldoon’s comment was aimed at him.”
Canavan refused to comment but word has been filtering around Glencull since of a man considering the implants.